New study looks into housing needs for young

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A project exploring the issues shaping young adults’ housing opportunities and financial outlook is targeting under-35s in the Borders.

Wealth Gap Youth is being run by researchers at the University of St Andrews as part of the Mind the (Housing) Wealth Gap project.

The aim of the study is to get young adults’ views on the important factors that help or hinder their housing choices and financial welfare.

Organisers also want to know how the expectations and experiences of under-35s might differ, depending on where they live and what resources they have access to.

The study is expected to touch on the ever-increasing burden of student debt, the precarious nature of youth employment, and the difficulties in accessing mortgage finance.

Participants will have the choice of taking part in either an anonymous online focus group discussion or a one-to-one interview via phone or Skype.

Through the focus groups and interviews, Wealth Gap Youth will be asking young adults to share their views on a range of issues.

These include: the key things that young people want from their housing, and what the factors are that help or hinder their housing options; how young adults feel about getting financial support, gifts and other help from family members when it comes to meeting living costs or getting a house and how they feel they’re faring in terms of their opportunities and prospects. The study is also designed to compare this generation’s hopes and fears to those of their parents.

The study is in two phases. First, online focus groups will be held with young people across the UK. Online methods will help overcome the time and spatial constraints of qualitative research.

Two focus groups across 10 local authority case study sites are planned, for housing markets and tenure structures vary across the UK.

In order to overcome potential digital exclusion, telephone interviews will be offered to those young people who do not have ready internet access.

Secondly, interviews will be held with stakeholders involved in policy and practice with regard to housing and young people.

This will include for example, think-tanks, charitable and campaigning organisations, and representatives from UK and devolved governments.