Affordable Housing

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.

Related stories

A rural community supported by Rural Action Yorkshire's Community-Led Housing project has announced that it has secured planning permission for a new housing development to provide affordable rented housing to local people. It will be the first development of its type in North Yorkshire.

A coalition of rural organisations, including RAY's parent organisation Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), has issued a warning that a deal reached between the government and housing associations about plans to extend Right to Buy does not provide sufficient protection for rural communities.

The Rural Services Network, a coalition of 260 member organisations, has published a comprehensive Manifesto for Rural England, calling on the next Government to take on a programme of action which would address the needs of rural communities across all departments and not leave it to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs alone.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has been urged to protect small rural communities from Government proposals which could drastically cut the development of new affordable homes. Rural Action Yorkshire is backing the plea by its national body ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), which has written to the Minister to outline its objections.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has been urged to protect small rural communities from Government proposals which could drastically cut the development of new affordable homes. Rural Action Yorkshire is backing the plea by its national body ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), which has written to the Minister to outline its objections.

Over the past few months Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY) has been developing a Rural Strategy to review the state of rural Yorkshire, highlight potential opportunities and challenges and suggest priority areas for future activity, both for us and for other organisations working in rural Yorkshire. We have been working in partnership with Humber and Wolds RCC to ensure we are able to present issues and ideas that have resonance across the whole of Yorkshire.

The Government has announced substantial new investment to support housing projects which are struggling to achieve the necessary investment through conventional means. The investment could help provide much-needed new housing for some communities and help those areas that have seen housing development begin and then be abandoned because of the financial crisis.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is consulting on proposals to change the way in which social housing rents are determined from April 2015 onwards. The consultation also covers proposed changes to the guidance issued by Government to the social housing regulator. The consultation is open until Tuesday 24 December 2013.

Residents in the Ryedale parishes of Sheriff Hutton and Scagglethorpe are being urged to take part in a survey to establish the need for affordable housing in the area. Ryedale District Council says that without evidence of local need, affordable housing schemes cannot be built.

Changes to the way in which village and town greens are registered have been announced by the Government, leading to clashes between those seeking to encourage the development of housing and business in rural areas on the one hand, and conservationists hoping to protect green space on the other.

The Government has announced a series of new measures and increased access to existing funding which it says will make self-build more accessible to community groups and people on low incomes.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services is managed by the Rural Services Network. Their next Parliamentary meeting is taking place in November and will discuss the issue of rural housing, including the problems caused by recent welfare reforms and the ongoing difficulty of finding local housing for people within their own communities. If you would like to contribute to this meeting or find out more, please use this link to contact Andy Dean.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is consulting on the results of its Housing Standards Review. The consultation is open until 22 October 2013.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published proposals for the future regulation of the flood insurance industry and is seeking the views of those affected through a consultation exercise.

New figures from the National Housing Federation (NHF) show the number of people aged 30-44 has dropped nearly 9% in rural areas between 2001 and 2011, despite numbers rising in urban areas.

A week of events organised by the National Housing Federation to highlight the role of affordable housing in rural communities. Read more details here.

Rural Housing Week, a series of events across the country organised by the National Housing Federation to highlight the role of affordable housing in rural areas, is set to take place in June this year.