The 2008 Taylor Review highlighted the problems faced by rural communities in relation to housing and support for local economies.
RAY believes that in order for communities to thrive and be sustainable the provision of a suitable mix of affordable housing that enables local people to stay in their own community is essential. This will lead to more people being able to stay in their own community and reinvigorate local businesses and services.
Affordability is a key issue for many people, with the high cost of open market homes caused by high demand in rural areas. It is estimated that the average rural house price in England is now more than 12 times the average salary of people living in rural areas. To get a mortgage, a person living and working in the countryside would need to earn £66,000 per year.
This is compounded by the shortage of supply and lower wages for rural workers. Other challenges include the growing need to build energy efficient housing in areas often lacking mains gas supplies and the need to provide supported housing for an increasingly ageing population.
The affordability gap is pricing young people out of the villages they grew up in. It also has grave consequences for the services we rely on, like the local school, shop or pub. A lack of young families means fewer people requiring their services and makes their existence less viable.
Just a few suitably designed affordable homes in the right location can make a real difference to the viability of the village and its services. Find out how RAY can help and check out our resources page for useful information.