Hastoe welcomes the entry of housing into the general election debate

Hastoe Housing Association is the leading affordable rural housing specialist, owning and managing over 7,000 affordable homes in southern England.

Commenting on reports that the Labour party will address housing as a key election issue, Hastoe Chief Executive Sue Chalkley said: “It is fantastic that housing has now entered the general election conversation in earnest. However, it is crucial that this important discussion of national housing policy must not solely focus on housing in urban areas. 

“England’s rural areas house 9.3 million people – that’s 17.6 per cent of England’s population – but are facing a crisis of housing affordability and availability. Just 8 per cent of rural homes are affordable, compared to nearly 20 per cent in urban areas, and the average rural property costs 11 times the average rural salary (in cities, it’s 6.9 times). If housing policy only considers and addresses urban needs, our rural communities will slowly suffocate and die out.

“We need to hear policies from all parties that will provide local people with truly affordable homes. Hastoe looks forward to working with the new Government to strengthen our rural communities so that they are able to thrive and grow.”

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