Latest Public Sector News

04.08.11

Affordable rural housing shortage

The Countryside Alliance has warned that there is not enough affordable new housing in rural areas of the UK.

Research into new homes across 306 council areas suggests that only 54,000 new rural homes have been created during the last financial year, which is only a quarter of the demand.

Since the rural population has grown by 800,000 in the last decade, house prices have been driven up, causing a deficit of affordable housing in these areas.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Alice Barnard said: "Even in the current difficult economic climate, meeting rural housing need must continue to be a priority for the government, its agencies and local authorities.

"The Countryside Alliance's research highlights that affordable housing provision is a huge challenge in both urban and rural areas.”

Barnard cautions that this could result in a break down of communities and a loss of services.

"If the rural need for affordable housing is not addressed, and urgently, many of those communities upon which our countryside depends will shrivel and die," she said.

The Alliance suggests that councils need more control over funding in order to build sufficient quantities of new housing.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said the coalition "took the needs of the countryside seriously, and was rewarding councils for helping to build more homes".

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