Although the trend of outward migration from the rural to the urban has reversed in some countries, bringing with it a demand for additional housing in rural communities, in many such communities deteriorating houses are not being renovated. Owners may cite the high cost of adequate rebuilding or the risk of careless tenants. Farmers may sell to neighbours when they retire and their former homes be converted to storage or left to deteriorate; they are then costly to renovate and tax advantages often encourage nothing being done. New housing may be unsuccessful: older people, in particular, may be reluctant to risk the new life style that goes with more efficient, low-cost homes, fearing loss of familiar places and isolation from community life.
[Developing countries] In the rural areas of developing countries environmental living conditions are usually primitive, little or no economic and social improvement is achieved, and the result is a declining cycle of poor health, stagnation and wasted human energies. This situation, together with the paucity of community facilities and other amenities in such areas, tends to accelerate the movement of rural migrants to urban centres. Although the problems of urban housing are receiving increased attention in developing countries faced with rapid urbanization trends, relatively little has been done for the improvement of rural housing and community facilities which would assist such countries in achieving a balanced urban-rural development.