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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 is dedicated to creating vibrant rural communities by delivering a range of essential services. With approximately 20 percent 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.

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 our 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


Where to Find Help

If you are looking for help with rural home repairs or are having difficulty making your mortgage payments: