Rural America Faces A Crisis In 'Adequate Housing'

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Along the country roads that fan out from Ogallala, Neb., there are abandoned, weathered old farmhouses and collapsed barns, remnants of the hardscrabble settlers who first tapped the Ogallala aquifer and turned the dry, high plains into lush wheat and corn fields.

Like a lot of the Midwest, western Nebraska slowly emptied out over the years, which is why a lot of locals say the current housing shortage is nothing short of a paradox.

"It's a tricky situation," says Mary Wilson, director of the local economic development office in Ogallala, population 4,500. For Wilson, the crisis that rural towns face would be more aptly dubbed a shortage of adequate housing.

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