Key Informant Perspectives on Rural Housing and Health


Housing is an important and well-established social driver of health. However, less is known about housing and health in the specific context of rural communities. This policy brief presents findings from key informant interviews with representatives of national organizations working in the housing sector. Using content analysis of interview data, researchers share rural-specific housing barriers, including those that are related to health, as well as policy recommendations for addressing housing challenges to improve rural health.

Key Findings:

  • Key informants from national housing organizations identified housing availability, affordability, and age and quality of housing stock as the most challenging barriers to housing in rural communities.
  • Environment and safety concerns were described as the top health impacts related to housing.
  • Recommendations for improving health impacts related to housing in rural areas were categorized into areas of increased funding, flexibility, and coordination and partnerships.
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Megan Lahr, Katie Rydberg, Madeleine Pick, Mariana Tuttle, Carrie Henning-Smith