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Northumbrian Water help rural housing crisis

Date 20 Dec 2006

The UK’s biggest water companies have responded to a call for action from The Prince of Wales for the private sector to help solve the affordable rural housing crisis. A national shortage of affordable homes in rural communities has prompted water companies, including Northumbrian Water, to work together on a pilot project to identify affordable land in rural communities for the development of affordable homes.

Water companies manage land and water, two of the key building blocks for development, and have customers, employees and sites in rural communities. The partnership will enable them to help meet a national need by putting something back into the communities they serve. This 12-month pilot involves 10 water companies reviewing land in certain parts of their operating areas for redundant sites within or adjacent to rural communities. They will be working with parish councils, local authorities and housing associations to evaluate the suitability of those sites for affordable homes.

HRH The Prince of Wales said: “I am absolutely delighted with the response of the water companies to my Affordable Rural Housing Initiative. They have recognised that the lack of affordable housing is having a devastating impact on our rural communities and innovative ideas such as this are essential if rural life, as we know it, is to survive.”

John Cuthbert, Managing Director of Northumbrian Water, said: “For Northumbrian Water the business case is clear. Our aim is to maximise the long term value of our assets enabling affordable homes to be built in the communities we serve and encouraging environmentally sustainable design in the process.”

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