Rural Housing Week – rural wages are lower than average


sarah brooke-taylor


There are often reports in the media about the lack of affordable housing, particularly in rural areas. The price of homes to buy continues t0 rise and the availability of homes to rent on a long-term basis has reduced and become more expensive. For people on low incomes owning or renting a home in a rural area is becoming a pipe dream.

The problem is that many people providing local services and jobs are unable to ‘choose’ to live locally near to their jobs, their family and social networks. They simply cannot afford to do so as rural wages are lower than average. Teachers, carers, those working on the land, in shops, pubs and many other local businesses are finding themselves priced out of the countryside, exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis. Not all jobs are commutable, but need people to be on hand. And even if you could commute people are usually reliant on private transport as many rural communities are not on a regular public transport route.

As well as jobs, many people have important local links and family living locally. They have social networks and are part of the fabric of the locality. Their children go to the local school, they support and are volunteers for local clubs and activities. With the growth in second homes and holiday lets over the past few years the local aspect of rural communities has become even more vital to the sustainability of such communities.

Your local Rural Housing Enabler can help your community undertake a housing needs survey to better understand the local housing need and work towards improving housing supply to meet local needs, whether that’s market housing, affordable housing or a mixture of both: or 01789 842182.