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Government investment signals a better future

The announcement of the Government’s new programme of investment in social housing is excellent news, says Craig Felts, Company Secretary of Northamptonshire Rural Housing Association, but specific attention must be paid to the needs of rural communities which are facing their own housing crisis.

It’s been great to see housing really hit the headlines recently. When Theresa May told the Conservative Party conference that there will be an additional £2bn investment in affordable housing, it was the news we have been waiting for.

Investment on this scale should provide flexibility, help the sector build genuinely affordable homes where they are most needed, and make a real difference to some of those who have been let down by the housing market.

Now the decision has been made to invest in truly affordable housing, it is imperative that rural communities get their fair share.

The recent Halifax Rural Housing Review showed that rural homes are 20 per cent more expensive than homes in urban areas, rising to a 30 per cent difference in the East Midlands.

Local people are being forced to move away as they simply cannot afford to continue living in their communities.  This has a negative impact on those individuals and families, and also the local economy.

If we enable local people to stay, by providing affordable housing, they will contribute their local services and facilities, such as schools, shops and public transport.  This is what’s needed for our rural communities to thrive.

As a specialist rural housing provider, we welcome the Government’s investment, and hope this provides new opportunities to work with our local authority partners to deliver genuinely affordable, high quality homes across rural Northamptonshire.

We are ready to work in partnership to build a better future.