A Lens to Rural Inequalities

Authored by: Menelaos Gkartzios , Ann C. Ziebarth

Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804371
eBook ISBN: 9781315753041
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619864


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It is impossible to think of rural communities without envisaging the people and their housing conditions. Rural housing research matters because housing is critical for the well-being of individuals, of families and of communities (MacTavish, Ziebarth & George, 2014). For many people home ownership represents a life aspiration and the largest asset they will ever own. Across the global north, rural localities are primarily associated with private home ownership, for example in Canada, southern Europe and Ireland (CMHC, 2003; Gallent, Shucksmith & Tewdwr-Jones, 2003). Eastern and Central European countries also have extraordinarily high home ownership levels, attributed to large rural populations who typically either built their own homes or inherited them, and the rapid privatization of public rental housing following the collapse of state socialism (Edgar, Filipovic & Dandolova, 2007). Despite stagnant and declining home values, asset and investment accumulation through home ownership is still a considerable economic factor for many rural residents.

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