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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Rural homelessness increasing in the UK due to cost-of-living crisis

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LONDON (CU) – Rising inflation continues to rearrange the lives of ordinary Britons across a wide range of financial backgrounds. As the newly formed British government attempts to address the pending energy crisis with the winter season fast approaching, a new study indicates that inflation together with shortages in affordable housing has elevated rural homelessness.

Interim data from the University of Kent led research which was jointly commissioned by rural advocacy associates, and the National Housing Federation conducted in collaboration with the University of Southampton demonstrated that 88% of participating housing and homelessness providers believe homelessness has risen in their area in the last year. Of these organizations, 80% felt at a disadvantage compared to those in urban areas who had greater access to funding and support.

Emergency living spaces is particularly a top requirement, with many economically disadvantaged residents in the countryside especially vulnerable to the accumulation of the cost-of-living crisis and the volatility and cost of privately rented accommodation.

The study further emphasizes the hidden nature of rural homelessness, with many not being recorded in official statistics while sofa surfers taking refuge in remote agricultural establishments. “So often rural areas are painted as idyllic retreats where people seek out a stress-free life. This perception is in danger of glossing over those who are at risk of becoming homeless or already have no roof over their head. Our interim findings are starting to provide the evidence we need to give this issue the attention it deserves,” said Dr Carin Tunaker, principal investigator of the study and Lecturer of Law.

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, stated that interim findings draw our attention to a disturbing pattern as homelessness keeps rising in rural areas further stating that it was known for a while that there were key shortages affordable accommodation which is likely to get worse with increasing inflation.

The complete finding is said to be released in 2023 with recommendations.

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