A shocking report commissioned by English Rural reveals a hidden homelessness crisis in rural areas, intensified by high housing costs and inadequate funding. Researchers from the University of Kent and the University of Southampton found that 91% of rural respondents witnessed a rise in homelessness over the past five years. The study exposes the vulnerability of homeless individuals in rural areas due to isolation, limited transportation, and lack of support. A coalition of rural advocates is calling for improved processes for counting rural homelessness, new support services, and increased investment in rural social housing.
New research from English Rural, CPRE – The Countryside Charity, and the Rural Services Network indicates that investing in affordable rural housing can significantly boost the economy and help address homelessness. Rural homelessness has more than doubled in the past two years, and the lack of affordable housing exacerbates the problem. The study by Pragmatix Advisory reveals that for every 10 new affordable homes built, the economy will gain £1.4 million, create 26 jobs, and generate £250,000 in government revenue. However, potential changes to the planning system may reduce the number of genuinely affordable homes. Campaigners are urging the government to prioritise rural social housing in order to benefit both the economy and local communities.
New economic research reveals a 44% higher government spending per person on public infrastructure in urban areas compared to rural ones, leading rural groups, including Rural Services Network, Britain’s Leading Edge, CPRE, and English Rural, to urge the Chancellor to address this rural disadvantage in the upcoming Budget. Rural communities are at a breaking point due to inadequate investment in essential public services such as transport, affordable housing, and economic growth measures. The research exposes the unfairness in government fund allocation mechanisms and highlights the need for a strategic approach to the Green Book process to better serve countryside communities. The rural campaigners are calling for the government to make addressing rural disadvantage a priority in its Levelling Up Agenda, publish growth investment data at the local authority level for scrutiny, and create a cross-Government Taskforce led by a cabinet minister to drive meaningful change that levels up rural economies and supports a carbon zero economy.