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CPRE welcomes new research on rural housing crisis

2 July 2018

CPRE welcomes a new report, published today (2 July), by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), which aims to ‘fix the affordable housing crisis in rural England’.

The report lays out the key factors that are driving a lack of affordable homes in rural communities and calls for greater focus on the specific challenges faced in rural areas relating to a lack of affordable homes.

CPRE, which co-funded the report, has been calling for more to be done to tackle the issue of affordability of housing in our market towns and villages. It believes that this report is an important piece of research that successfully demonstrates why housing affordability across the countryside must be taken just as seriously as in large towns and cities.

Crucially, it also highlights that current blanket policies do not work when addressing the housing crisis in the countryside, as they are too skewed towards urban areas. And that without properly rurally sensitive policies communities in the countryside will continue to be left behind when it comes to housing provision.

Tom Fyans, Director of Campaigns and Policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:

‘This report highlights the long standing fact that successive governments have failed to address the particular challenges faced by rural communities in finding a home they can afford. Too often, the housing crisis is portrayed as an urban issue only, even though low wages and high housing costs in rural areas mean there are pockets of real deprivation in the countryside too.

‘It is vital that rural issues are embedded more firmly within the wider housing debate, so that rurally specific policies and funding mechanisms can be developed to see rural communities able to access homes they can afford.’

IPPR make a number of recommendations within the report, including:

  • Local and combined authorities should work with central government to develop devolved powers for rural areas to increase affordable housing supply.
  • The government should task and support Homes England with embarking on a significant Rural House Building Programme.
  • A new approach needs developing to support landowners in bringing forward sites and continuing support for rural exception sites policies.
  • Government should make a renewed commitment to rural communities, with new policies that focus on their specific needs.

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