High house prices force rural exodus

For immediate release

30 June 2014

THE Rural Services Network [1] has welcomed a study highlighting the plight of people who are being forced out of the countryside due to high house prices.

The average worker will need a 150% pay rise as rural areas become some of the least affordable places to live in the countryside, the study found [2].

The finding was published at the start of Rural Housing Week [3], by the National Housing Federation [4].

Rural Services Network chief executive Graham Biggs MBE said: "This is a serious and growing problem."

Mr Biggs added: "High house prices and the lack of affordable housing is consistently rated as one of the top challenges facing rural communites across the country.

"The warning by the National Housing Federation is stark.

"Unless rural wages rise or rural house prices fall or become more affordable, families who want to live and work in the countryside will continue to be forced out."


Media contact:
Graham Biggs
Rural Services Network
E: graham.biggs@sparse.gov.uk
T: 01588 674 922
M: 07966 790197


1. The Rural Services Network is a group of more than 200 organisations working together to improve the delivery of rural services across England. The two operating arms of the network are the Sparsity Partnership for Authorities Delivering Rural Services (SPARSE) and the Rural Services Partnership. Further information and a full list of members are available at http://www.rsnonline.org.uk

2. The figure was calculated by the National Housing Federation and is contained in its "Want to buy a house in the country?" press release. For details, visit http://www.housing.org.uk/media/press-releases/want-to-buy-a-house-in-the-country

3. Rural Housing Week (30 June - 6 July) aims to:

The aim of the week is to highlight rural housing issues and to showcase the great projects that housing associations have delivered to tackle these problems. - See more at: http://www.housing.org.uk/get-involved/rural-housing-week-2014#sthash.BkUQhbtr.dpuf

highlight rural housing issues and showcase projects delivered by housing associations to tackle these problems. For more details, visit http://www.housing.org.uk/get-involved/rural-housing-week-2014

4. The National Housing Federation represents the work of housing associations and campaigns for better housing. See www.housing.org.uk.

5. The Rural Services Network seeks to establish best practice across the spectrum of rural service provision. The network has representation across the complete range of rural services, including local authorities, public bodies, businesses, charities and voluntary groups. We are devoted to safeguarding and improving services in rural communities across England. We are the only national network specifically focusing on this vital aspect of rural life.

6. The Rural Services Network exists to ensure services delivered to the communities of predominantly and significantly rural England are as strong and as effective as possible. The term 'predominately rural' refers to counties and Local Authority districts with at least 50 percent of their population living in rural settlements (ie. rural towns, villages, hamlets and dispersed dwellings) as identified in the Office for National Statistics' rural definition, and including larger market towns as identified in the Defra classification of Local Authority districts. The term 'significant rural' refers to those Local Authorities who are between 25% and 50% rural under the same classification. The rural definition and classification were devised by the Rural Evidence Research Centre (RERC) at Birkbeck College. Further information on these can be found on the RERC website at www.rerc.ac.uk.


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