Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Geography and Geosciences

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Cheryl Morse

Second Advisor

Kelly Hamshaw

Third Advisor

Pablo Bose


human geography, rural geography, rural gentrification, affordable housing


Discussions about the current affordable housing crisis in the United States often neglect rural America. Drawing on research in rural geography and community development, this study investigates the affordable housing crisis through the lens of the impact of second-home development and the relationships created between second-home owners and full-time residents in the rural amenity-rich village of Bellaire, Michigan. It seeks to answer the following questions: What are the relationships between second-home owners and residents? Do these relationships follow the overarching narrative that residents of rural communities are unwelcoming to perceived outsiders? What is the current state of affordable housing in Bellaire? Has second home ownership impacted the affordability of housing for local residents of this village? If so, how has second home ownership impacted housing affordability? The findings suggest that housing in Antrim County is not affordable, and that there are dynamic relationships, both positive and negative, between second homeowners and full-time residents of Bellaire. This further suggests that there are no true “insiders” and “outsiders” as all stakeholders move through these positionalities throughout this community. The findings from this study can be used to inform actions to promote the quality of life and well-being of both local residents and second homeowners alike within these unique communities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.