Community Programs — Rural Housing 360

The Rural Housing 360 goal is to make high performance housing accessible, affordable, and a reality for hard working Americans by providing established pathways for mortgage approvals.

Our mission is to strengthen local communities by allowing hard-working folks the opportunity to live where they work, stabilize school enrollment, utilize existing city infrastructure, and to enhance the ability of employers to grow their respective businesses.

The role the community plays is vital to the outcome of this program. Underutilized community assets (empty, in-fill lots or under-built subdivisions) are found in nearly every community. These lots represent an opportunity to create equity for a potential home-buyer which keeps the cost down and enhances their ability to obtain a mortgage approval. Combined with the Rural Housing 360 efficient construction process, you are within reach of most median household incomes!

We have a housing crisis in America.

Since 2017, the founders of Rural Housing 360 have been engaged in studying the barriers to homeownership for our nation’s workforce and those in rural communities. Being from Rural America ourselves and challenged to find solutions has culminated in the launch of Rural Housing 360. Our mission is make home-ownership possible for those who currently struggle finding options. We do this through a comprehensive approach to the problem of obtaining a mortgage approval.

In identifying barriers to home-ownership we discovered three common issues:

  1. Lack of available cash for down payment and closing costs.
  2. Insufficient credit scores or lack of credit history.
  3. Affordability gap - cost to build vs. income.

The housing crisis is not a ‘rural versus urban’ problem. Nor is it rooted in age or geography. It is a financial problem. Our strategy is to work backwards from a mortgage approval and into a solution. What has resulted is a real opportunity that allows for an individual to be successful in buying a new home that is within reach of their income and shows equity without the need for down payment or closing costs to obtain a mortgage.

How does Rural Housing 360 accomplish this?

By eliminating waste and increasing efficiencies we are able to reduce cost from the process.

Cost comes in different forms: time, material, money, people, real estate.

Our challenge was to seek to optimize these assets to the benefit of you — the consumer. Rural Housing 360 has assembled a broad chain of partnerships that result cost reduction, equity creation, and efficient asset utilization. Our partners include:

  • Communities - offering empty lots to buyers thus reducing costs.
  • Local & National Lenders - offering $0 Down & $0 Closing Loans.
  • Real Estate Agencies - assistance in selling your current home.
  • Local Contractors - project management & reduced mobilization costs
  • Modular Home Builders - eliminate waste, quality control, speed.
  • Technology - Website allows for streamlined process & accessibility.

The outcome of this is a public/private partnership that can produce mortgage approvals for folks that desire to call your community home!

Community Benefits

  • Utilization of Existing Assets and Infrastructure
  • Appealing Return on Investment
  • Encourages Population Migration - downsize/upsize
  • Supports School Enrollment Numbers
  • Supports Local Employers and Businesses
  • Marketing & Branding – Image of your Community
  • Strengthens Local Economy - property taxes, retail spending, school funding
  • Facilitates New Development Opportunity
  • Fosters New Business Growth

The ultimate risk that any community has looking into the future is that these valuable assets (lots) remain vacant as the community continues to decline in population and school enrollment while the current housing stock continues to age as well. By NAHB historical data, the average inflation of construction has been 5% annual for the past 40 years. If this trend continues then a home costing $200,000 to build today will reach nearly $300,000 in 10 years. This is a startling thought but it also means that action is needed now to help our working families.

What areas of the U.S. do we provide this kind of program?

Rural Housing 360 was born in the Heartland of America- Iowa. We have aligned ourselves with strategic partners to be able to respond to demand anywhere in the Midwestern United States. If you are a community in need and would like to speak with us about an opportunity to partner then please reach out! We would love to hear from you! Stay tuned as we expand our reach to other regions of the country.

If you are an employer that identifies with this message then we would like to talk.

What communities can have this program? Population size? Economy? Does it matter?

Although 'rural' is in our name, Rural Housing 360 is really for any community with a housing problem. As stated earlier, the housing crisis is not a 'rural versus urban' problem. Nor is it rooted in age or geography. It is a financial problem. What a working family can afford in a rural community is essentially the same as what a working family can afford in an urban community. Thus, Rural Housing 360 is not a geographical or income restricted housing program. It is designed to address the issues that surround obtaining a mortgage approval, wherever that person may live currently.

What communities have seen success?

Rural Housing 360 is launching into several communities in 2019. We have just begun processing and approving applications. As of January 2019 Rural Housing 360 is active in 74 communities and 27 counties. In addition, we are constructing a 360 Model Home in Martensdale, Iowa this spring next door to our meeting facility to be able to host communities wishing to see for themselves the quality of the product. If your community is interested in scheduling a visit we would love to hear from you!


Who is an Active Adult Buyer?

  • Are the kids all grown and gone?
  • Do you have a house that is too big for what you need?
  • Do you want a home that is safer- no steps, wider doors, security system?
  • Do you desire a home with less maintenance and cleaning?

Rural Housing 360 can help with our Active Adult Upgrade Package. We have specific features for you in mind such as:

  • Zero-entry garage (No steps from the house to garage)
  • Wider, 3 foot doors to the master bedroom and bathroom
  • Zero-entry showers (No steps into the shower)
  • Grab bars for toilets and showers
  • Lever Handles
  • Front entry ramps
  • Design and Ordering Assistance

Additional Documents

How do I get my community involved in this program?

If housing is a problem for your community and employers then we would love to hear from you. Simply email me, Steve Gilbert, at [email protected] and express your interest in learning more. I will get back to you and schedule a site visit to discuss becoming a Rural Housing 360 Community and to begin working alongside you and your employers to make homeownership a possibility for those who would like to call your community home.

We invite you to explore the possibility of working with Rural Housing 360.

Thank you for visiting us and the opportunity to serve you.

Best Wishes,
Steve Gilbert — Founder