Jon Bailey

Publication Date



While the general philosophy behind wealth-building strategies generally makes little or no distinction between urban and rural areas, the federal government has established a specific regime of rural wealth-building programs recognizing the unique economies and challenges facing rural people and rural communities. This is particularly true for home ownership and business development and in the rural development programs of the United States Department of Agriculture. This paper provides an overview of federal wealth-building programs that apply to rural people and rural places in the United States, with an emphasis on those programs in USDA and other federal agencies that apply solely to rural areas. This paper will examine programs related to home ownership, business development, and higher education, and will also analyze potential future actions in federal wealth-building policy as they apply to rural America.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

Bailey, J. M. (2005). Overview of federal wealth-building policies relevant to rural America (CSD Working Paper No. 05-60). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


Wealth Building in Rural America Project


IDA, individual development account, SAPP, savings, state policy, Rural