Rural areas and the rural South in particular have unique characteristics that render inappropriate many urban-oriented housing affordability approaches, delivery systems, and programs. In addition, a lack of data for smaller communities makes accurate assessments of the housing stock difficult. This paper explores factors that influence housing affordability. A methodology is developed that policy makers in local communities can use with volunteers to collect reliable data and to develop a local housing agenda which meets community needs. Regression analysis using data from four rural Georgia communities reveals that housing quality plays a role in housing expenditures. The paper concludes with strategies for rural community housing assessment and implementation.

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