Research charts difficulties facing ‘generation rent’

generation rentYoung people who are unable to buy their own home often feel frustrated as they struggle to settle down and benefit from the positive qualities of home, a new study has found.

The term ‘generation rent’ denotes young people who are increasingly living in the private rented sector for longer periods of their lives because they are unable to access homeownership or social housing.

Drawing on qualitative data from two studies with young people and key-actors, the paper published in the Journal of Youth Studies, considers the phenomenon of ‘generation rent’ from the perspective of youth transitions and the concept of ‘home’.

The researchers, some of whom are affiliated with the Centre for Housing Research at the University of St Andrews, found that young people leaving the parental home traverse housing and labour markets until they reach a point of ‘settling down’.

However, they add that many young people face difficulties in this ‘settling’ process as they have to contend with insecure housing, unstable employment and welfare cuts which often force them to be flexible and mobile.

Taking a Scottish focus, the paper further highlights the geographical dimension to these challenges and argues that those living in expensive and/or rural areas may find it particularly difficult to settle down.

The research paper: ‘Generation rent’ and the ability to ‘settle down’: economic and geographical variation in young people’s housing transitions, can be found here.

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