24 Sep 2012

Rural Housing Week 24 - 30 September

Affordable housing plays an vital role in maintaining small rural communities. GreenSquare, like other housing associations, plays an important role in providing this affordable housing in rural communities. Rural Housing Week provides an opportunity for decision makers at a regional and local level to take a look at successful rural developments, and see how they can bring real benefits to local people.

Affordable housing in rural areas provide a place to live for local people who might otherwise be priced out. Just a small number of new affordable homes can benefit the whole community and help to sustain local businesses and services. Rural Housing Week is all about bringing housing associations and local stakeholders together to show just how important this is – and how well it can work.

About a third of the South West’s population live in small market towns or villages. In 2011 there were 89,254 households on rural waiting lists in the South West – an increase of more than 40% compared with the year before.

The average home in the rural South East costs 13.7 times local incomes. Around 32% of the population lives in rural areas compared to 27% nationally. 64% of people living in the South East countryside agree there is a shortage of affordable housing for local people where they live. And 73% of people in the rural South East say families and young people are being priced out of the countryside. 70% would support a small number of homes being built for local people.

Jenny Allen, South West lead manager for the National Housing Federation said: “Affordability in rural areas is a major issue – there’s a much greater gap between house prices and earnings, making it even harder to own your own home in the countryside.”

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