Credit crunch has silver lining – rural housing provider

The impact has been felt too by those housing providers which offer shared ownership or "part-buy, part-rent" properties.

Among these is Peak District Rural Housing Association (PDRHA), based in Cromford, Derbyshire.

Area manager Alison Clamp said the economic climate meant there was a low take up of shared ownership homes as there were not the mortgages available to enable people to buy even a proportion of their house. 

Housing providers apply for grants from the Homes and Communities Agency, formerly the Housing Corporation, to cover the building cost. Rental homes need a larger grant than shared ownership homes so having less of the latter pushes the average grant rate up.

Clamp said: “We and others are growing increasingly cautious about including shared ownership homes in developments because people simply cannot afford to buy, whether in full or part.

“The downside of this is the average grant we are requesting from the Homes and Communities Agency is higher but the silver lining is that the agency actively wants to support rural housing developments and, in turn, its communities.

“From this point of view, I believe it is a promising time to bid for grant funding in order to provide people in rural areas with affordable homes.”

Is grant funding one way out of the slump? Tell us what you think using the comment section below