OVER 300 new affordable homes have been built across rural Yorkshire over the past year with the lion's share being built in the Craven district, a report states.

The homes have been built by private developers, charitable housing associations, councils and local communities, backed by specialist rural housing enablers from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Strategic Housing Partnership. This group brings together local councils and national parks to help build affordable homes across the area and support the local economy.

Of the 309 rural affordable homes built across North and East Yorkshire between April 2021 and March 2022; 111 were built in Craven District; 55 were built in the East Riding of Yorkshire; 37 were built in Hambleton District; 8 were built in Richmondshire District; 42 were built in Ryedale District; 36 were built in Scarborough Borough and 20 were built in Selby District.

Twenty four of these homes were built inside the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and 12 in the North York Moors National Park.

The figures have been released as part of Rural Housing Week (July 4 to 8), an annual campaign to raise awareness of the challenges rural communities face and how affordable homes can help. Rural economies often lag behind on pay, productivity and infrastructure, while local people are priced out of desirable villages. Building more rural affordable homes can address many of these challenges, helping to boost the economy and create sustainable, thriving communities.

Cllr Richard Foster, chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Housing Board and leader of Craven District Council, said: “Rural communities face a big challenge across North and East Yorkshire, and the rising cost of living is only going to make things harder for thousands of people. We urgently need to level-up our rural communities and there is no better way to do this than by building affordable homes.

“I’m really proud of the work that the housing partnership does, and these 309 affordable homes are a great example of that. We all need to make sure we are doing everything we can to build on this and create sustainable, thriving rural communities.”

The provision of affordable homes is also being discussed by Members of the North Yorkshire Rural Taskforce. They met to discuss an action plan to tackle a host of issues, from a lack of public transport, poor internet and mobile phone coverage and the need to introduce more sustainable energy supplies.