'Generation rent' and the ability to 'settle down': economic and geographical variation in young people's housing transitions



Hoolachan J, McKee K, Moore T & Soaita AM (2017) 'Generation rent' and the ability to 'settle down': economic and geographical variation in young people's housing transitions. Journal of Youth Studies, 20 (1), pp. 63-78.

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, this paper considers the phenomenon of 'Generation Rent' from the perspective of youth transitions and the concept of ‘home’. These frameworks posit that young people leaving the parental home traverse housing and labour markets until they reach a point of 'settling down'. However, our data indicate 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. This leaves many feeling frustrated as they struggle to remain fixed in place in order to 'settle down' and benefit from the positive qualities of home. Taking a Scottish focus, this 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.

youth; housing; home; private rent; transition

Journal of Youth Studies: Volume 20, Issue 1

FundersCarnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and Leverhulme Trust
Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online10/05/2016
Date accepted by journal26/04/2016
PublisherInforma UK Limited

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Dr Kim McKee

Dr Kim McKee

Senior Lecturer, Housing Studies

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