The Role of Rural Housing Credit in Empowerment and Stabilization of Rural Population Case Study: Beyhagh Rural District, Sabzevar County



Extended Abstract
Increasing of rural - urban migration, results in various consequences for the economic, social
and legal systems of the country; on one hand, villages’ development indexes start to deteriorate
and on the other hand, limited resources in the urban areas are insufficient for the immigrated
population. Changing this trend requires a comprehensive consideration of the issues related to
the rural areas, most important of which is alleviating the poverty of rural areas compared to the
urban areas that can be recognized in the income, education, healthcare, awareness, knowledge,
infrastructure, and physical development level of rural areas.
One of the most important ways of alleviating the rural poverty is physical and economic
investment, credit granting, promoting job creation, and comprehensive improvement of the
living standards of the rural population, which influence their satisfaction and welfare and
stability of population in such areas. One of the most important forms of investments is credit
granting and in particular, micro-credit from the official resources (e.g. government). Such
credits can influence the welfare and reduce the inequality among the rural population. Rural
credits are granted in sectors such as agriculture, construction, healthcare, etc, and each can
improve a specific aspect of rural development.
Improper location, unreliable construction and low quality are among the most salient
symbols of rural housing in Iran. Housing, as the cornerstone of humans’ life, responds to a
wide range of individual and social needs of human beings and rural housing, as a result of its
versatility, deserves more attention and consideration.
Granting rural housing credit in the framework of Rural Housing Project commenced amid
the 4th Development Plan and will continue throughout the 5th Development Plan. These
credits are given with the goal of making resistant houses and improving the housing and
physical development level of the rural areas in order to increase the satisfaction and empower
the population and hinder the population immigration from these areas. This project covers all
villages and towns with less than 12000 inhabitants.
The importance and necessity of this research by topic: The role of rural housing creditgranting
in empowerment, satisfaction with the houses and stability of the rural population lies
in the increasing trend of rural-urban migration at the district level as well as the fundamental
qualitative and quantitative deficits of the rural housing. Beyhagh Rural District with a
Human Geography Research Quarterly, 6 arterly, No. 72, Summer 2010
population of 7375 inhabitants is located in the south of Sabzevar County and despite its affinity
to the city and possessing a wide range of natural potentials, is facing a rapid rural-urban
migration. This trend is created as a result of frequent droughts, lack of financial and economic
infrastructure, high unemployment and lack of basic infrastructure. The present research aims to
address the following questions:
Main Questions
1. Have the rural housing resisting credits been successful in increasing the empowerment and
satisfaction level of the population with the houses?
2. Do such credits influence the population’s tendency in staying in the rural areas?
The following hypotheses have been developed with regards to the main questions of the
Hypothesis 1: Rural housing resisting credits have increased the empowerment and
satisfaction level of the population with the houses.
Hypothesis 2: Rural housing resisting credits positively influence the population migration
from rural to urban areas.
The statistical population consists of the two groups of credit borrowers and those who have not
applied for credit. Using Cochrane formula, a group of 120 persons who used the credits and
318 persons who did not, were studied. The statistical population is spread among 21 villages
with more than 20 inhabitant families and 2 villages of under 20 inhabitant families (Beizakh
and Hossein Abad villages where the number of credit applicants were considerably high).
This research is practical in its approach and analytical-descriptive in its methodology. For
analyzing the data, various means such as maps, pictures, tables, graphs, and computer
softwares such as GIS, Excel and SPSS were deployed. For testing the hypotheses and
analyzing the data, Mann-Whitney test statistic was used.
Results and Discussion
The results of this research show that at 99% significance level, considerable difference can be
observed in the level of satisfaction; the first group (credit users), were satisfied whereas the
second group were not satisfied with their housing condition. With respect to rehabilitation, the
first group considers the credit to have increased their ability to renovate their houses, while the
second group indicated that without being granted credit, they would not be able to renovate
their houses. In the second hypothesis, at the 99% significance level, the first group is more
inclined to stay in the rural areas compared to the second group.
Use of credits in retrofitting rural housing, in addition to improving the housing conditions,
causes the capacity for new housing construction and the villagers’ tendency to stay in villages
to increase.