Across the East of England, services and businesses have been disappearing as people are priced out of housing in their local community. New analysis of the latest data reveals that 16 schools, 4,204 post offices and 459 pubs have closed down in this region over the last five years, according to the National Housing Federation.*
While businesses have been closing, house prices have hugely inflated in the area and become out of reach for local families. A worker on average earnings in north Norfolk needs a 177% pay rise to be able to afford a mortgage.**
But Broadland Housing Association has promised to offer a lifeline to local residents in this part of the county, who would otherwise be priced out of an area they’ve known all their lives. Broadland is helping the area stem the tide of dying villages through a partnership arrangement with North Norfolk District Council to build 106 affordable new homes on 6 sites across the area. The first of these schemes, at Great Ryburgh, was completed in March 2018.
Broadland is joining housing associations up and down the country celebrating Rural Housing Week (2-6 July). This campaign aims to shine a light on how affordable housing can breathe life into rural communities, by bringing new customers and job opportunities that help keep open local shops or pubs that residents rely on.
Michael Newey, Chief Executive, Broadland Housing Association, says:
“We’re proud that we have a total of 600 new homes currently in development, for rent and low-cost home ownership. Many of these are in rural areas and will help to meet the urgent and growing demand for affordable homes in North Norfolk.”
Monica Burns, External Affairs Manager for rural housing at the National Housing Federation, says:
“Today’s findings show that far too few homes are being built for local people and villages are dying as a result. Young people are moving to cities and often house prices are rocketing. 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. It’s very welcome news that housing associations like Broadland Housing Association are building the new homes local people desperately need.”
*Rural schools in England 2012-17, Department for Education Edubase 2018; Rural post offices in England, 2012-17, Post Office Limited Network Reports 2012-17. Data compiled for the National Housing Federation by CGA Strategy
**Data compiled by the National Housing Federation based on: Office for National Statistics (ONS), small area statistics (house prices); Department for Work and Pensions, Stat Xplore (earnings) and the DEFRA Local Authority Rural-Urban Classification