Calderdale Council is to employ a Rural Housing Officer

Calderdale Labour group are welcoming a proposal for the Council to employ a Rural Housing Enabler – a move they have been campaigning for since 2004.

Labour group leader Cllr Tim Swift has told the Hebden Bridge Web: “We have been increasingly concerned that the Council was failing to move quickly enough to respond to the growing problems of securing affordable housing. These problems are particularly acute in the rural areas of Calderdale, where housing prices have risen rapidly and average prices are well out of the reach of first time buyers.

“In our 2004 budget proposals, we called for the Council to employ a ‘rural housing enabler’ who would work with housing associations and other organisations to secure funding for more social and affordable housing in rural communities.

“Now at last the Council has accepted the case, and a report going to the Cabinet next Monday includes a proposal to employ a Rural Housing Officer to work on plans to secure more affordable housing in the rural parts of Calderdale.

“The Council report demonstrates that this move is desperately needed, with typical house prices in rural areas showing a terraced house changing hands for over £100,000 in most rural areas and averaging over £150,000 in Hebden Bridge. This move is an important step forward but it is clear that much more needs to be done if we are to make sure there are affordable homes for local people in all parts of Calderdale.”

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