Village life is no longer for the few
Many people have dreams about raising their children in an idyllic rural village. However, reality bites when they look at the price tag that goes with country living, as property prices in rural areas are among the highest in the country.
This has a massive effect on rural communities as schools, GP surgeries, post offices, banks and pubs all close as the families, considered to be the life-blood of rural communities, are forced to leave. National Housing Federation research shows that more than 6,000 post offices, 287 pubs and six schools have closed across the Midlands in the last five years.
Thankfully, The Wrekin Housing Trust is working hard to ensure communities stay together, and affordable properties are created for those who want to live in the countryside without suffering financially.
In the rural village of St Martin’s, near Oswestry, the Trust has provided a number of new houses and bungalows for the community. One of the properties is a specially adapted bungalow for the Roberts family from St Martin’s, whose child Martha uses a wheelchair, enabling them to move back to the area and to live in a home that suits their needs and will improve their life.
Martha’s mum, Helen, said: “This is a life-changing move for us and will mean we can have a real family home that’s suited to our children’s needs, giving them more independence. We can’t thank the Trust and partners enough for the opportunity to live in the area we love and feel secure, safe and happy.”
The Wrekin Housing Trust is one of the largest social housing providers in the West Midlands, with more than 12,300 homes for rent and low-cost home ownership across Shropshire and Staffordshire. Its Managing Director, Wayne Gethings, believes there is capacity to construct more affordable houses in rural Shropshire, but says finding land that is both suitable and affordable isn’t easy.
“There are more barriers to overcome in sought-after rural village locations,” said Wayne.
“The high price of land, the costs associated with preparing the land and contributions we might be asked for towards infrastructure often make it unviable for us to consider. However, we are determined to find a way of providing more rural homes for individuals and families who would otherwise be priced out of the market”
All Trust homes are advertised on their website (see link).
If you would like to talk to The Wrekin Housing Trust about opportunities to develop more affordable housing call Steve Swann on 01952 217016.
Pictured below is Martha with her mum and sister.
26th September 2018