It is widely accepted that we have a rural housing crisis in the South West. Far too few homes are being built for local people and communities are disappearing as a result. Right across rural England, schools are shutting their doors to pupils. Post offices, which provide vital community services, are closing at a similar rate. And countless pubs are serving their last ever orders to locals. But housing associations like SHAL are innovatively stemming this tide in Somerset by building vital new homes for local people.
New affordable housing breathes life into a rural community. It offers a lifeline to a young family who would otherwise be priced out of an area they’ve known all their lives. It brings new customers and job opportunities to help keep open a local shop or pub. This is why we at SHAL are celebrating the National Housing Federation’s Rural Housing Week this week (3-7 July) to highlight how new housing is vital for people in rural areas and the survival of their communities.
Housing associations are key players in solving the rural housing crisis. With the right support, we can build the homes rural England desperately needs.