Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Christine C. Cook


The present study examined homeownership among rural, low-income families. Previous literature was examined to understand the financial, psychological and social benefits of and barriers to homeownership among this population. Although most low-income families appear to prefer to own their homes, limitations can prevent them from buying their `dream home' and risks can diminish the positive effects of homeownership. Recent public policy has attempted to extend opportunities for homeownership to households heretofore under served. Attaining and sustaining homeownership among low-income families has become an important area of research. In addition to a review of previous literature, this research examined the role of family socio-demographic, economic, housing and housing market characteristics and health characteristics in predicting tenure status among low-income, rural families. Quantitative data were utilized from a multi-state longitudinal study of the effects of welfare reform on rural low-income families, North Central Regional research project #NC1011. Logistical binomial regression analyses revealed that for low-income families in rural areas seven variables were significantly related to tenure status; e.g. participant education level, partner status, Latino, family monthly income, family food security score, utility costs and county housing wage. A second analysis revealed that those with partners had five significant variables; education level, monthly income, food security score, monthly utilities, and county housing wage. Taken together, the review of literature demonstrates the importance of homeownership while the analyses contribute to understanding low-income households' tenure status.


Copyright Owner

Andrea Lynn Bentzinger



Date Available


File Format


File Size

106 pages