The end of rural affordable housing?

03/12/2014
The Government has sounded the death-knell on affordable homes in the countryside, according to a group reviewing rural affordable housing.

The Government has sounded the death-knell on affordable homes in the countryside, according to a group reviewing rural affordable housing.

On Friday 28 November, the Government announced that, barring a few exceptions, it will no longer be necessary to provide affordable housing on developments of less than 10 homes.

Jo Lavis, Director of Rural Housing Solutions, said:

“This announcement, flying in the face of representations from rural organisations, strikes a blow to rural communities across the country which desperately need affordable housing in their local area. The rural exemptions being offered in the announcement are paltry and will do nothing to compensate for the loss of rural affordable homes that this will cause.”

Only 34 local authorities will have any exemptions to the new policy, leaving 69 rural Councils with few, if any, opportunities to provide affordable homes in villages.

Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive of Hastoe Housing Association, added:

“There is an acute shortage of houses that people on local wages can afford in the countryside and if builders aren't required to provide some social houses then more and more families will be priced out of their local area. In turn, there will be a further reduction of services like schools as the people that would work there are unable to live locally. There was a clear message from our rural communities that if you want them to survive, we must continue building homes that they can afford.”

This week rural council leaders will be scratching their heads in disbelief that a Government which claims to promote Localism can introduce such a rurally insensitive, top down measure. They will wonder how on earth they are now supposed to meet their priorities, their statutory housing duties and maintain a Local Plan that at one strike is now out of date.

ENDS

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