New figures show rural services in South Northants are disappearing, but upcoming housing plans aim to help area thrive

Across South Northamptonshire services and businesses have been disappearing as people are priced out of housing in their local community. New analysis of the latest data reveals that 5 schools and 3,337 post offices have closed down in the region over the last five years, as well as and 287 pubs across the East and West Midlands according to the National Housing Federation.1

Whilst businesses have been closing, house prices have hugely inflated in the area and become out of reach for local families. A worker on average earnings in South Northants needs a 137% pay rise to be able to afford a mortgage.2

But Grand Union Housing Group (GUHG) has promised to offer a lifeline to local residents otherwise priced out of an area they’ve known all their lives. They want to help the area beat the tide of dying villages with a new development of 10 affordable homes in Greatworth.

The announcement of these new homes comes as housing associations up and down the country celebrate Rural Housing Week (2-6 July), which aims to shine a light on how affordable housing can breathe life into rural communities, by bringing new customers and job opportunities that help keep open local shops or pubs that residents rely on.

Ahead of Rural Housing Week, many housing associations across England have been signing up to the 5-star plan for rural housing, developed by the National Housing Federation with housing associations. The plan challenges the sector to increase delivery of rural housing and continue contributing positively to a thriving countryside.

Aileen Evans, GUHG Chief Executive, said: “The country is currently in the middle of a housing emergency and we need to respond by building much needed housing that is truly affordable. That’s why we have committed to double our build programme over the next five years by investing over £200m to build over 1,800 new homes.

“These homes need to be in the areas that really need them and are as accessible as possible. We are committed to building more homes, stronger communities and better lives.”

Monica Burns, External Affairs Manager for rural housing at the National Housing Federation, says:

“Today’s findings show that far too few homes are being built for local people and villages are dying as a result. Young people are moving to cities and often house prices are rocketing. Right across rural England, schools are shutting their doors to pupils. Post offices, which provide vital community services, are closing at a similar rate and countless pubs are serving their last ever orders to locals.

“It’s therefore very welcome news that housing associations like Grand Union are stemming this tide in Northamptonshire by building the new homes local people desperately need.”

  1. Rural schools in England 2012-17

Department for Education Edubase 2018


Rural post offices in England, 2012-17

Post Office Limited Network Reports 2012-17


Data compiled for the National Housing Federation by CGA Strategy


  1. Data compiled by the National Housing Federation based on:

Office for National Statistics (ONS), small area statistics (house prices)

Department for Work and Pensions, Stat Xplore (earnings) and the DEFRA Local Authority Rural-Urban Classification

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