Homelessness in the Countryside: A Hidden Crisis

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Homelessness in the Countryside: A Hidden Crisis

A research project that aims to uncover the characteristics of rural homelessness, what worsens it, and how it can be prevented.

Rural homelessness is an unseen crisis in the countryside, driven by limited access to services and an absence of affordable homes. The extent of the crisis is unclear as limited rural data is captured in official statistics. Trends show that overall homelessness has increased in the last decade and where interventions have helped in urban areas, their impact is less successful in rural communities. A rural housing task force has joined forces to shine a light on the crisis by commissioning a 12-month research collaboration between academics at Kent and Southampton Universities.

The rural task force includes leading national, rural charities and housing providers. Working collaboratively, the group have pooled resources to develop and fund the research, designed to secure evidence showing the extent of the rural housing crisis and what interventions will help tackle the problem.

Working with the researchers, the group will develop and share a series of recommendations to inform government ministers and future policy making. Existing research has largely focused on urban homelessness due to its inherent visibility, yet it has neglected a growing crisis facing rural areas. This lack of exposure has meant it hasn’t received the attention and investment it deserves from policymakers.

Read our final report!

The findings of our year-long research project are now available. We found that rural homelessness is a growing problem that needs immediate attention. See the executive summary and full report here.

Final Report March 2023