Hastoe responds to Lords Report on Rural Communities

23/03/2018
Hastoe Chief Executive, Sue Chalkley, responds to a new House of Lords Report on rural communities.

 

Hastoe has responded to the House of Lords Committee on the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 new report on policies affecting rural communities.

The report can be found at this link.

Hastoe Chief Executive, Sue Chalkley, gave evidence in Parliament in November 2017 (picture above) in preparation for the report. She made the case that the Government has not recognised the unique needs of rural communities when developing housing policy.

For example, the delivery of affordable housing in rural areas is now unknown because communities with a population of less than 3,000 are not monitored. This lack of data hinders understanding of the effects of policy in rural areas.

Hastoe also gave the example of the Right to Buy policy for housing association tenants and the prohibition of affordable housing requirements for new developments of 10 units or fewer as policies that did not work for Rural England.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Sue Chalkley, said:

“Rural England needs a strong voice at the top of Government – a voice that it’s not currently getting.”

“Too many housing policies are not thought through in a rural context. There is a dire lack of data on rural affordable housing and policies like Right to Buy and exemption for affordable housing for small sites just don’t work in a rural context.”

“We need a strong focus in Government on rural areas and rural housing policy in particular. If DEFRA can’t do that job, we need rural policy to be transferred to a new Government department or body.”

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