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Rural communities across America face unique challenges as they strive to create affordable homeownership and rental opportunities and strengthen their communities.

NeighborWorks America's Rural Initiative promotes, supports and enhances comprehensive community development through a mix of affordable housing, economic development, and other locally determined strategies that strengthen and revitalize rural communities. NeighborWorks' Rural Initiative is dedicated to creating vibrant rural communities by delivering a range of essential services. With approximately 20% of the nation’s population classified as rural, empowering rural serving organizations is a clear national imperative. When rural communities thrive, the whole country benefits.

Manufactured Housing

Manufactured housing represents a potential untapped, affordable housing solution in communities across the country. NeighborWorks America and Next Step, Inc. partnered together to develop "Manufactured Housing: A Resource for Engaging Nonprofit Boards and Community Stakeholders" to address this challenge and help organizations advance manufactured housing programs as well as two PowerPoint presentations that can help you talk about manufactured housing and its benefits to different audiences. 

If you are still learning about manufactured housing and laying the foundation for introducing the idea to your organization, download Manufactured Housing: Blueprint for Affordability and Community Impact, which can serve as a primer for nearly all topics related to the use of manufactured housing as an affordable housing tool.

Reclaiming Appalachia: Investing in Community, Cooperation and Change

Event graphic with Reclaiming Appalachia text in gray and blueRural communities across the U.S. face unique challenges as they strive to strengthen communities and improve lives. In partnership with network member Fahe, we met with our network organizations and partners Sept. 10-13, 2019, to discuss transformative solutions that address rural poverty. Our Reclaiming Appalachia rural conference was a peer-learning opportunity to share information and strategies, generate innovative ideas and approaches, and establish the valuable connections necessary to produce long-lasting, systemic change. 

Turning the Tide on Persistent Rural Poverty

Persistent poverty is an enduring problem in rural America. Geographic isolation, lack of resources and economic opportunities, and disinvestment have led to high poverty rates for decades.

Watch clips from the 2018 webcast, "Turning the Tide on Persistent Rural Poverty." These clips showcase how our network and our partners identify the unique challenges facing residents in order to create opportunities that strengthen these communities.

Framing the issue

Persistently poor counties are classified as having poverty rates of 20 percent or more in 1990, 2000, and 2010.
Rural America’s role

86 percent of all persistent poverty counties in the United States are rural.
Mapping poverty

Three of the nation’s most economically challenged rural regions are the Delta, Central Appalachia, and the Southwest border region.

What We Provide to Our Network






Peer learning


Turning the Tide on Persistent Rural Poverty
Four network organizations representing the hardest-hit regions offer their perspectives on the greatest challenges and the most-promising solutions. 
Find a rural organization
NeighborWorks network organizations serving rural areas are listed in this directory

Where to Find Help

If you are looking for help with rural home repairs or are having difficulty making your mortgage payments:
Rural Partnerships
Reclaiming Appalachia: Rural Conference

Contact Us

[email protected]

Building Assets: Strengthening Community in Low-Wealth Rural Areas
Between September 2018 and August 2019, NeighborWorks brought together five organizations to explore approaches to challenges in rural areas with the overarching goal of field building, working collectively to tease out best practices, improve outcomes and present learnings to inform efforts in the NeighborWorks network and the community development and rural fields.
Professional Training
Develop your professional skills with our rural development courses