Rural Housing Summit in Parliament

01/03/2018
Hastoe Chief Executive, Sue Chalkley, attends a rural housing summit in Parliament and makes the case for more rural homes.

 

Hastoe Chief Executive, Sue Chalkley, joined other housing professionals and policy makers for a summit on rural housing in Parliament on Wednesday.

Convened by Mid Worcestershire MP, Nigel Huddleston, the group made the case for a Rural Housing Strategy to tackle the crisis of affordability in rural areas. Rural house prices are 20% higher than in urban areas, while local rural wages are lower than the national average.

Joining the group were Mid Norfolk MP, George Freeman, Saffron Walden MP, Kemi Badenoch, North Cornwall MP, Scott Mann, Ludlow MP, Philip Dunne, Stroud MP, David Drew, and Chair of the Rural Affairs Select Committee, Neil Parish MP. The Minister for Rural Affairs, Lord Gardiner, also presented to the summit. 

The group agreed that Rural England needed a step change in increasing the building of new homes to help keep rural services alive and allow more young families to afford to live in the areas they group up in. They determined to keep pressing the Government to focus on investing in new homes in rural areas.

After the meeting, Sue Chalkley, said:

“There are some encouraging signs that policymakers are realising that we have a serious housing crisis in rural England. This is having a long term impact on communities as young families move away and schools are closing.”

“But, rural communities are rich with solutions, we just need to recognise and facilitate them. Many are asking for new homes and many landowners will make land available. It is essential though that we build high quality, affordable homes that leave a good experience for all. The community must be allowed to have genuine control over the size and location of the scheme. This builds trust and confidence and very often a request for a second, third, or fourth scheme. The Government and Homes England need to ensure rural areas get their fair share of investment to tackle the rural housing crisis.”

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