Rural housing challenges in the Nordic region

A pressing problem: Are the rural housing markets frozen?

There are huge dissimilarities between the rural areas of the Nordic Region – both between the different countries, and autonomous areas, and internally within them. Even so, what they have in common is that most rural areas face challenges regarding empty houses and, at the same time, a lack of suitable housing for defined needs. Good, well-functioning housing provision is essential for the continued prosperity and wellbeing of individuals and families, and it is therefore also essential for rural communities.

This project focuses on understanding the character of the challenges involved in housing people in the rural areas of the Nordics. Via interviews, a picture of the predominant challenges facing the Nordic countries emerges, and the specific nature of these challenges is described in five case studies. Based on these, we have identified various mitigating measures at national and municipal level.

The lessons learned from this are described in three areas: public support to bridge the financial gap (lack of capital for construction), the specific role of municipalities, and finally how rental housing can be a tool to supplement the existing, dominant, privately-owned housing structure in rural areas.

The Report is a part of the work of The Nordic Thematic Group on Sustainable Rural Development 2017-2020.