Welcome to a pivotal moment in our collective journey towards addressing rural homelessness in England. As we kick-off Rural Housing Week 2023, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the ‘Rural Homelessness Counts’ Coalition, a pioneering initiative aimed at tackling the hidden crisis of rural homelessness.
The ‘Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition’ was born out of a pressing need. Ground-breaking research by the Universities of Kent and Southampton unveiled a stark reality: rural homelessness in England is on the rise, yet it remains largely hidden and overlooked. Official government rough sleeping numbers have risen by 24% in one year, and an alarming 91% of people working to tackle homelessness in rural areas have witnessed a rise in homelessness over the past five years.
Our mission is to bring this hidden crisis into the light and work towards sustainable solutions. The coalition aims to:
We envision a future where everyone, no matter where they live, has access to safe, affordable housing. We believe that by working together, we can make a significant impact on rural homelessness and help our rural communities thrive. We aim to share learning and encourage partnership across urban and rural communities, ensuring that the unique challenges faced by rural communities are addressed.
Listen to Franc’s story:
The ‘Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition’ is guided by a set of principles that reflect our commitment to ending rural homelessness. These principles are rooted in our five unique pledges: prioritising prevention-first strategies, fostering inclusion, championing community, advocating for place-based solutions, and increasing the visibility of the issue of rural homelessness. We believe in investing in rural communities to pre-empt homelessness, fighting against the stigma of homelessness, channelling the close-knit nature of rural communities into a network of support, addressing the unique challenges of rural homelessness through tailored, integrated support, and shining a spotlight on the realities of rural homelessness. Together, we are committed to ending rural homelessness through evidence-based policy and practice. You can read more about our principles and see which organisations have signed up so far here.
The coalition’s approach is rooted in collaboration and innovation. We believe in the power of partnerships and the importance of local knowledge. We aim to work closely with local authorities, rural housing associations, and other stakeholders to develop and implement effective strategies for tackling rural homelessness.
We also recognise the importance of innovation in addressing this complex issue. We’re committed to exploring new approaches, learning from best practices, and continuously adapting our strategies to meet the evolving needs of rural communities.
We invite you to join the ‘Rural Homelessness Counts’ Coalition. Whether you’re an individual passionate about housing equality, a local authority, a rural housing association, or another stakeholder, your support can make a difference.
By joining the coalition, you’ll be part of a powerful movement working to ensure that rural homelessness counts. You’ll have the opportunity to contribute to our mission, learn from others, and help shape the future of rural housing in England.
Ready to make a difference? Sign up today to join the ‘Rural Homelessness Counts’ Coalition. Together, we can ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has a place to call home.
Thank you for your support, and welcome to the ‘Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition’. Let’s make Rural Housing Week 2023 a turning point in the fight against rural homelessness. Together, we can ensure that the voices of rural communities are heard, their needs are met, and their potential is fully realised.