SLH has ‘signed up’ to a National Housing Federation campaign to increase house building in rural areas by as much as 6% per year, which will be officially launched during the Federation’s Rural Housing Week which takes place between 3-7th July 2017.
The aim of the week is to highlight rural housing issues and to showcase housing associations’ innovative solutions for tackling them, supporting rural communities through providing affordable housing. The Federation’s message is that housing is vital for the survival of rural communities and services.
To underpin Rural Housing Week, the Federation has developed a 5 Star Rural Housing Plan in consultation with housing associations. The plan challenges the sector to increase delivery of rural housing and continue to contribute to a living and working countryside. Housing associations will work with and for rural communities, to
- Increase the current level of housing supply in rural communities by 6% per year for each of the next five years
- Bid for at least 10% of national housing investment to deliver new homes in rural areas
- Ensure that homes delivered benefit the local economy, including the farming and food economy
- Meet the needs of rural communities and contribute towards five key tenures, as appropriate – homes for affordable rent, market rent, affordable home ownership, self-build and market sale.
The Board of SLH signed up to the rural housing deal at a Board meeting on the 15th June.
The rural housing deal is really important for the South Lakeland district in particular where house prices are almost ten times higher than average wages. With second homes making up around 50% of some villages together with ‘right to buy’ policy depleting rural housing stock then this is all contributing to continued migration of younger people away from the areas. In the village of Old Hutton for example there used to be 16 affordable homes but there is now just one left. There are many others without any affordable housing which is really threatening the sustainability of rural community life.
Cath Purdy, Chief Executive said “It is extremely challenging and so much harder to develop in rural areas as land availability is in short supply and construction costs tend to be much higher. But we recognise that we must do our bit to help ease the housing crisis in our villages and improve the sustainability of rural communities in the South Lakes. That is why I am absolutely delighted to announce that our Board have signed up to the Rural Housing 5 Star Plan which means that we will work with rural communities to increase the level of housing supply every year for the next five years”.
Rural Housing Week
- The National Housing Federation is the voice of affordable housing in England. The Federation believes that everyone should have the home they need at a price they can afford.
- Rural Housing Week is an annual event organised by the National Housing Federation.
- The aim of the week is to highlight rural housing issues and to showcase housing associations’ innovative solutions for tackling them, supporting rural communities through providing affordable housing.