We all have the right to a home we can afford to live in, wherever we are. CPRE’s response to the independent Affordable Housing Commission, chaired by Lord Best, argues that the sustainability of rural communities depends on providing good homes that local people can afford. We note that, while the causes of unaffordable housing are largely similar across urban and rural areas, the impacts on rural communities are distinct and profound.
Our response focuses on four key policy areas in need of reform, if we are to deliver the homes our villages and market towns need to thrive:
- The inflated cost of land.
- A lack of capital investment in high quality social housing.
- A flawed definition of affordability tied to the market rather than to local incomes.
- A planning system which holds local authorities accountable for the failure of the private housebuilding industry to deliver enough homes.
We look at how these challenges play out in a rural context, and what changes could improve the system so that communities get more of the things they want from development.