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Despite the extensive research exploring the effects of public provision of subsidized housing opportunities in urban areas, especially large cities, in the United States, very little or no research exists concerning the geographical inequality of federally funded rental subsidy programs in rural areas. This paper uses a multilevel modelling approach to analyze the extent rural-urban spatial disproportionality exist in rental subsidy programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) across all counties in the 48 contiguous states. Results indicate that rural residents in poverty are less likely to receive the rental subsidies by approximately 3.4 – 7.1 percentage points, based on different rural-urban geographical classifications and model specifications, than those in urban areas. Also, the predicted estimates of heterogeneous state effects reveal intergovernmental relationship of particularly how a state is involved in local government’s administration of the rental subsidy programs.


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