Financing measures and incentive schemes for (existing and new) building owners can promote the sustainable settlement development of rural regions or municipalities and, in a wider sense, entire countries or cross-border regions. In order to be used on a broad scale, the concept of revolving funds must continue to be further developed. In this research, the concept of an advanced revolving housing fund (ARF) for building owners to support the sustainable development of rural regions and potential mechanisms are introduced. The ARF is designed to reflect impacts and challenges with regard to rural regions in Germany, Europe and beyond. Based on New Institutional Economics, the Theory of Spatial Organisms, an expert workshop, interviews and discussions and further literature research, the fundamentals for incentive schemes and the essential mechanisms and design aspects of the ARF are derived. This includes the principal structure and governance of a holding fund and several regional funds. Based on this, input parameters for the financial modelling of an ARF are presented as well as guiding elements for empirical testing to promote more research in this area. It is found that the ARF should have a regional focus and must be a comprehensive instrument of settlement development with additional informal and formal measures. The developed concept promises new impulses, in particular, for rural regions. It is proposed to test the concept by means of case studies in pioneer regions of different countries.
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