National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

14 July 2010

Young farmers are being priced out of living in the countryside due to a chronic shortage of affordable homes.

House prices in rural England have more than doubled during the past decade to average £256,698, while the average salary for people working in the countryside has risen to just £21,000.

The National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs, the National Housing Federation, and the National Farmers Union are warning that people in rural areas have little hope of being able to afford a property where they live and this poses a threat to traditional rural life.
A poll for the National Housing Federation found that 65% of people living in rural areas thought local families and young people were being priced out by the high cost of property.
A further 63% thought there was a shortage of affordable homes for local people in their village, with 70% saying they would support plans to build a small number of affordable properties for local people in their area.

More than a third of people in rural communities thought village shops, post offices and pubs had declined during the past five years, while a third thought second home owners had a negative impact on community life. One in five people also thought the number of second homes in their community had increased during the past five years.
The number of people on waiting lists for affordable housing in England has soared to 750,000, and nearly 100,000 new affordable homes need to be built in rural areas over the next decade to meet demand.

The groups are calling on local housing authorities to draw up action plans to address the housing needs of people in their communities to ensure villages remain sustainable.
NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee chairwoman Katherine Sealy said: “With average house prices now over £250,000, young people like me can’t afford to live in villages.

"Without young, dynamic and enthusiastic staff and customers, local shops and services will be forced to close and we must not just sit and watch as communities suffer as a result.

"The affordable housing issue has to be addressed to ensure the future sustainability of rural areas and jobs.”
NFYFC's ARAC Forum called for rural housing to top the government agenda at the organisation's annual convention in Torquay in April.

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