Affordable Housing Needed In The Countryside
|The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has demanded action to increase the supply of affordable rural housing following an announcement by the National Housing Federation, the National Association of Small Schools, and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, that primary schools are closing at a rate of one a month in rural England.
Richard Diment, Director General of the FMB, said: "Schools will continue to close at an alarming rate unless something is done to make the countryside affordable for young families. The fact is that the rural housing is increasingly unaffordable for more and more families, driving them out of the communities that they grew up in and jeopardising the future viability of those communities in the process. Creating more affordable rural homes is the best means to keep communities together and helps alleviate the need for young people to move away."
The FMB says if the situation continues many, once thriving, rural communities will become mere ghost towns and the diversity of British life will be much the poorer for it.
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The FMB has been calling for the Government to introduce a range of measures that would address the issue for some time now, however these calls have been met with "too little reform at too slow a pace".
Mr Diment concluded: "The Government needs to radically overhaul the planning system to make it faster and more responsive to local housing needs, prioritise delivery of affordable housing, and incentivise local authorities to deliver more affordable housing directly. Unless this happens, we will continue to perpetuate the ridiculous state of affairs we have now where perfectly good infrastructure is mothballed or demolished because lack of affordability robs them of a community to serve, only to make new housing more expensive because it has to contribute to covering the cost of the new infrastructure required to replace what has been lost."
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