Our Head of Development and Sales, Rebecca Field, discusses how our homes are helping keep rural communities vibrant.

Rural housing week is an annual campaign to highlight the work housing associations do to support rural communities with affordable housing. Many rural communities are dying out as house prices rise and families are being priced out of the market. Primary schools are closing from lack of demand, and village shops are shutting as there is nobody to run them. Some villages become ghost towns due to second home ownership and holiday homes. To help keep rural communities vibrant, affordable housing is essential to prevent families from being forced to move away.


Covid has proved to be a big driver for people wanting to move away from towns and cities and into more rural settings. Working from home, for large parts of the economy, is likely to stay for at least some of the working week, and with this shift, house prices that were already high have continued to grow.


Progress Housing Group works with these small communities to deliver homes that people can afford to live in.  We are developing a number of sites in rural communities that will provide affordable homes both to rent and to buy. Of equal importance is the affordability to heat and run these properties. All of our properties are built with high levels of energy efficiency to ensure that running costs remain low. We are working with our consultants to improve this efficiency further to eventually reach carbon net zero.


We currently have sites in a number of rural settings, including our development in Catterall with Breck for 55 units and a 22-unit scheme in Killinghall, near Harrogate, with Linden Homes. We are working in partnership with Concert Living on sites in Weeton, Wrea Green and Inskip. Other schemes being worked on include Bowgreave, Burscough and Barton. All of these sites will allow low-income households to remain in the communities they live in or choose to live in without feeling forced into towns and cities because of cost. 

By keeping these communities vibrant, public transport links, schools, shops, post offices, and pubs can be retained and available to all who wish to live there.