In her keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Prime Minister Teresa May announced an extra £2billion for affordable housing projects and said the Government will make sure land is available for house building. In response CLA President Ross Murray said:
“We welcome the emphasis the Prime Minister has given for increasing house provision across Britain. However, the housing shortage is felt just as keenly in the countryside as it is in our towns and cities. Rural areas have their own unique dynamic.
“Over six million people live in our rural communities but house prices there are on average 22% higher than in urban areas, fewer homes are available and in English rural areas only 8% of homes are classed as affordable. This has a significant impact on the rural economy, as it forces young people to move away and stifles job creation, perpetuating low wages in rural areas.
“Rural landowners have the capacity to meet the housing needs of people who want to live and work in the countryside but who are priced out. Policies that increase the supply of all housing tenures such as affordable and for private rent in small quantities across rural Britain will reinvigorate our rural areas and help to build a stronger, more sustainable countryside.
“The CLA will work with the Government, local councils and housing associations to help fulfil the Prime Minister’s dream of fixing the broken housing market.”