Local people will take priority on village homes
Published by Liz Reeson for Two Rivers Housing in Housing and also in Environment
A new housing scheme in Gorsley will give young families the chance to stay in the community they know, at a price they can afford.
Herefordshire planners have just granted Two Rivers Housing planning consent for a development to create affordable homes in the village and help local people.
Recent evidence from the National Housing Federation * shows young people are often priced out of living in the rural areas where they were brought up because of the cost of living. House prices have increased by nearly 90% since 2001 in Herefordshire, but earnings have not kept pace with this, and they fall below the wages of people living in urban areas.
Rural parts of the West Midlands have witnessed a 10% fall in the number of 30 to 44-year-olds living there in last 10 years and a 5% drop in children under 10, yet the population of over-65s has gone up by a quarter. Meanwhile, urban areas are thriving, with a 4% rise in people under the age of 45 living in the region’s towns and cities.
Families with young children can bring prosperity to a village by supporting local services and contributing to community life and, without them, that community can suffer lasting and damaging effects.
Two Rivers is committed to helping people and rural neighbourhoods to prosper and is supporting the National Housing Federation’s ‘Yes to Homes’ campaign, which wants to see the right homes available at the right price in rural areas. The Gorsley scheme will provide 10 low-cost homes for young families, at prices they can afford, and priority will be given to those who already have a connection with the village.
The two and three-bedroom houses in Ivy House Lane will be available for a mixture of affordable rent – at a price lower than market rents – and shared ownership, which is a part-rent, part-buy option that helps people to take an important step towards owning their home.
They have been designed to be sympathetic to the character of this popular village whilst being highly sustainable, to limit their impact on the environment and reduce energy consumption and costs. Two Rivers is also committed to using local contractors, where possible, helping to support the rural economy still further.
“It’s wonderful to live in the countryside – if you can afford it,” said Matt Hunt, Director of Development and Asset Management at Two Rivers Housing. “There is plenty of research showing that young people are forced to move away from the rural communities where they were brought up because they can’t afford to buy, or even pay the rent charged by private landlords.
“I am delighted we have been able to work with Herefordshire Council to provide a scheme that help young people to stay in an area where they already have connections, and for Gorsley to prosper for future generations.”
The project should complete in autumn 2014.
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