This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Community Capacity and Rural Housing in the Black Belt




Kennealy, Patrick

Type of Degree



Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


The rural West Alabama Black Belt region faces many challenges in addressing low-income home construction and rehabilitation needs. In nearby metropolitan Tuscaloosa, non-governmental housing service providers draw on financial and human capital lacking in the rural Black Belt. Public services, including the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development program and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, also face challenges of providing housing assistance in the Black Belt area. Regionally-specific conditions affecting community capacity, such as land held in heir title, provide unique challenges to housing service providers. Analysis of community capacity and qualitative research provides a basis for understanding the limited applicability of metropolitan models and Federal aid programs in meeting housing needs in Alabama’s rural Black Belt. Regionally and culturally specific low-income housing systems are necessary for addressing these needs.