Written by Carla Hill
The landscape of American has changed over the years. As population levels grew, so changed rural and urban demographics. Cities have stretched their boundaries to include former farmlands, absorbing formerly rural populations. And young rural dwellers have made the leap to city life, as small American farms and a largely agrarian society has been replaced by industrialized farming and a service-focused job market.
According to the Census Bureau, a gradual shift has been taking place over the last 100 years.
- 1900: 39% urban dwellers
- 1920: 51% urban dwellers
- 1960: 63% urban dwellers
- 1980: 73% urban dwellers
- 2000: 79% urban dwellers
This rapid growth has changed the dynamics of our country. It has put further pressure on our environment and increased strains on local governments to provide education, health care, sanitation, security, and transportation.
The University of Michigan reports that “because governments have less revenue to spend on the basic upkeep of cities and the provision of services, cities have become areas of massive sprawl, serious environmental problems, and widespread poverty.”
For those, however, who choose to live rural lives, numerous programs and incentives are in place that can make the process easier.
For example, if you are looking to connect to rural water sources, and you live in certain regions of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas, you may be eligible for a grant that will pay for connecting service lines to a residence. It can also be used to pay utility hook-up fees, install plumbing and related fixtures, i.e. a bathroom sink, bathtub or shower, commode, kitchen sink, water heater, outside spigot, or bathroom, if lacking.
Looking to go green with a small business? The Rural Energy For America Program Grants/Renewable Energy Systems/Energy Efficiency Improvement Program provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. It also provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.
Worried about qualifying for a home loan? The government has programs for that as well, whether you are an individual or builder. Considered “Guaranteed Housing,” you can find such help as zero downpayment requirements and no maximum purchase price limit.
For more information on what grants, loans, and programs could be of help to you, contact your local rural housing office.
– Copyright © 2010 Realty Times. All Rights Reserved.
Editor’s note: Believe it or not, rural financing programs are available in portions of the Coachella Valley and Morongo Basin. Contact us for more information.