Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

New Homestead Act - Some Hope for Rural America

- from the desk of John Crabtree,, Center for Rural Affairs

New Homestead Act – Some Hope for Rural Communities

A new report by the Center for Rural Affairs concludes that the proposed New Homestead Act’s use of asset-building strategies, such as Individual Homestead Accounts, would capture much of the potential of these strategies for enhancing the lives of low and moderate income individuals and families in rural communities.

“We believe that nationally, based on assumptions of Individual Development Account use for small business development and rates of employment for those businesses, Individual Homestead Accounts could create or expand 153,000 businesses and create over 268,000 jobs in qualifying counties. The highest numbers of jobs would be created in Iowa, Texas, Illinois, West Virginia and Mississippi.” said Jon Bailey, Rural Research and Analysis Program Director at the Center for Rural Affairs and co-author of the report.

The report, Building Wealth in Rural Communities: The New Homestead Act and Individual Homestead Accounts, examines the Individual Homestead Account provisions of the New Homestead Act, which was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and a bipartisan team of Senators.

“The New Homestead Act contains policy ideas to provide incentives for people to remain in, or to relocate to, rural counties that have experienced significant population loss over the last 20 years,” said Bailey.

“The New Homestead Act, and Individual Homestead Accounts specifically, while needing some modifications to address infrastructure and implementation challenges, offer real hope for rural residents and rural communities,” Bailey added.

For a copy of the full report, with state by state analyses, go to –

For more information contact - Jon Bailey,
or - John Crabtree,
or, as always, post a comment here

John Crabtree
Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is there informaition about what states would benefit the most from a new Homestead Act?

  • At 10:13 PM, Blogger Center for Rural Affairs said…

    State Small Businesses Jobs
    Iowa 14,538 25,442
    Texas 10,114 17,699
    Illinois 10,240 17,100
    West Virginia 8,809 16,297
    Mississippi 7,306 13,589
    Ohio 7,306 13.079
    Kansas 7,255 12,769
    Kentucky 6,612 12,100
    Louisiana 6,271 12,100
    Indiana 6,100 11,041
    Minnesota 6,429 10,157
    North Dakota 5,284 9,141

    These are some of the top states in potential small business development impact from New Homestead Act provisions for Individual Homestead Accounts.

    For a full copy of the Center for Rural Affairs report - Building Wealth in Rural Communities - go to -

  • At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    these are huge numbers, is this moving in Congress? Is there anything a person can do to help move it faster?

  • At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is there or will there be provisions to help a family who has gone though Bankrupcy to get a fresh start? At this time we are about to that point due to medical expences. We always wanted something of our own but can see no way that it will ever happen.


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