Affordability of housing in rural areas

23rd March 2021

Volunteers from CPRE Hampshire’s Local Plan Response Group have prepared guidance and policy and position statements on most important aspects of Local Plans. One of these resources covers the affordability of housing in rural areas.

Nick Stenning, a rural affordable housing expert and author of our policy and position paper says: ‘We believe that the best way to ensure that we have a living and thriving countryside is to have thriving communities. Rural communities thrive best when they have a robust foundation of people who work in the local area and can afford to live there. This means rural communities which are stronger and more diverse, and where more people live and work in the countryside. Yet this will only be achieved if people, particularly those on low incomes are able to find a decent, affordable home close to their place of work or close to where they have family connections.

We believe that the provision of housing in the rural areas that is affordable for those who want to live and work in the countryside is a priority. Unfortunately, housing in many rural areas of Hampshire has become increasingly unaffordable for people on low and average incomes, and the failure to create homes that people can afford is fuelling some of the main issues facing rural communities. The closure of rural services (such as post offices, pubs and public transport) and the ageing population structure, due to falling numbers of young people, is linked strongly to the inability of people to be able to afford a home. The policies relating to the affordability of housing in the countryside therefore encompass the issues of affordability, employment and local connection.’

CPRE Hampshire Local Plan Response Group, Guidelines for District Local Plans – The affordability of housing in rural areas, February 2021.

An affordable housing guide for CPRE members, ‘How to improve the supply of rural affordable housing’, is also available from the national website.

Abigail Oliver
Children climbing in the New Forest