Many rural areas in the U.S. are seeing a sustained wave of prospective new residents as part of a pandemic-era trend away from crowded urban areas and toward the country’s picturesque small cities and towns. While this is a promising development for businesses, including electric cooperatives, it has a major downside: Many of these newcomers are finding it nearly impossible to relocate because of a growing shortage of available and affordable housing in these regions.
What’s causing this unprecedented housing gap? And what are rural leaders, including electric co-ops, doing to combat this worrisome trend?
In this episode, we’ll hear from:
- Alex Horowitz, project director of the Housing Policy Initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.
- Lea Hoover, director of member and strategic services at Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative in Baker City, Oregon. OTEC has a rich history of community development efforts, and its latest initiative involves working to increase housing stock in its region.
Listen to the episode below: