Rural housing

M. Shucksmith, J. Sturzaker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The issue of access to - and the affordability of - rural housing has been the focus of much research and policy in the United Kingdom, and to a lesser extent in Western Europe. Elsewhere in the global North, rural housing issues are either not usually differentiated from urban issues or they tend to focus on housing standards. Pressures on rural housing stem both from urban-containment planning policies that limit supply and from competing demands from commuters, retirees, or vacationers. Outcomes differ according to the cultures of governance in different countries. A case study of the United Kingdom shows how middle-class, propertied interests have mobilised discourses of sustainability to force up the prices of rural housing to well above urban house prices, resulting in the spatial exclusion of the low-income and middle-income groups from much of the countryside. The article concludes by identifying four themes for future policies to address: social exclusion; the presence of and the changing role of social housing; the urban-rural relationship; and the contribution of housing to a competitive rural economy. © 2012

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Housing and Home
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780080471716
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Affordability
  • Countryside
  • Housing
  • Planning
  • Rural
  • Rural communities
  • Social exclusion
  • Spatial exclusion
  • Sustainability
  • Urban containment


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