Rural homelessness has risen in recent years and is often a hidden problem affecting communities and families. Research into this topic is limited and the NHF are pleased to have joined a steering group for a piece of research examining the extent of the rural housing crisis. It is hoped the research will reveal what interventions are needed to overcome this issue and why strategies to reduce homelessness in urban areas are often less successful in rural communities.
Chaired by English Rural Housing Association, this will be a 12 month collaboration between Kent and Southampton University and several leading homelessness and rural charities, including HomelessLink, the Trussell Trust and the NHF.
Martin Collett, Chief Executive of English Rural Housing Association, who are co-chairing the research project, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Professor Carr and Dr Tunåker on this much-needed piece of research. Hidden homelessness in rural areas needs urgent attention so we can fully understand its causes and how we can prevent it. We also need to take strong and convincing evidence to policymakers to ensure that rural communities are not left out in the cold, as so often they are. In urban areas, the issue is much more visible, yet in rural areas, it is still hidden in barns, tents, and outhouses. Fundamentally, this is about a lack of affordable and available housing and, unless we tackle this, the problem is set to remain.”
The research began in autumn 2021 and is expected to take 12 months to complete. An interim report will be issued mid-way through the project.