Prevalence of housing cost burden increases for rural Vermonters

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

More than 30 percent of the households in Vermont’s rural counties are now cost burdened by their housing expenses—a stark increase since 2000, according to a recent Harvard analysis of non-metro areas nationwide.  This interactive map shows the increase in cost burden rates sweeping U.S. rural areas.

Rural housing affordability issues sometimes receive less attention, particularly when they have lower sales prices and rent levels than in urban areas.  However, many rural households paying unaffordable housing costs are also plagued with housing quality and overcrowding problems.  The share of the U.S. housing stock lacking complete plumbing or kitchens is higher in non-metro areas than in metro areas.  Among non-metro homes with incomplete plumbing or kitchens, 10 percent are considered overcrowded (compared to 8 percent in metro areas), according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing researchers. 

Two-thirds of all Vermonters live in non-metro counties in this analysis.