Published Monday, 3 July 2017

Waverley Borough Council supports Rural Housing Week (3-7 July 2017). Led by the National Housing Federation, the aim is to show how affordable housing is vital to enable young households to stay in rural areas and sustain local services like schools, post offices and pubs.

To buy the average home in Waverley a household will need an annual income of around £115,000 per year. Rural prices are around 26% higher making home ownership even more difficult for many.

David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Far too few homes are being built for local people across rural England and communities are disappearing as a result.”

Councillor Carole King, Waverley’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “Without new affordable homes in rural areas, young people have to find homes elsewhere, to the detriment of the future of the communities they leave.”

High house prices, low wages, seasonal jobs, an ageing population and high levels of second home ownership all add pressure on rural communities. Local services and the rural economy suffer with local employers struggling to fill lower paid jobs.

Affordable housing can help to reverse these trends by providing decent homes that local people can afford.

Councillor King continued: “I welcome the Housing Federation’s Five Star Plan, co-created with Housing Associations, to deliver new affordable homes in rural areas and Waverley will be playing its part to help keep our rural communities together.”

Over the past few years Waverley has worked in partnership with parish councils and housing associations who have built affordable homes for local people in some of our villages including Dunsfold and Chiddingfold. A further development of 15 homes at Ricardo Court, Bramley, is due to start in August 2017. The new homes will be owned and managed by Clarion Housing when they are finished in about December 2018.

Most affordable homes are either rented or shared ownership, where the customer can part-buy and part-rent. New affordable homes in rural areas are usually reserved for people with a genuine connection to the local community.

New Housing Survey

Rural Housing Week coincides with Waverley’s own Housing Strategy Consultation to set new housing priorities for the coming five years. The council is encouraging all residents to complete the survey whether they own their own homes, rent in the private or public sector or are living with friends or family. The council would also like to hear from housing providers, developers, landowners and anyone with an interest in housing in the borough.

The survey can be found on www.waverley.gov.uk/housingsurvey

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The Five Star Plan
- Work with and for rural communities, in accordance with the Rural Alliance pledge:
- 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 HCA 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

For more information visit: www.housing.org.uk

For further information contact:

Tel: 01483  523296

Email: communications@waverley.gov.uk