AFFORDABLE housing for families in rural North Yorkshire has long been an issue, with Dales communities suffering because young people are forced to move away after being priced out of the market.

The lack of young families means fewer children in the village schools, resulting in closures; fewer bus services and other local amenities; and this lack in facilities ultimately makes rural communities less popular to young families.

Affordable homes would go a long way to keep young people in the communities they grew up in, and possibly even attract others who previously moved away to return, to help build brighter futures for these often isolated areas.

Broadacres Housing Association is doing its bit to address the problem with its announcement of more than 100 new affordable homes in Richmondshire, Northallerton and Malton.

Richmondshire, and particularly Swaledale, has suffered from rising house prices and communities dying because of homes being snapped up as holiday properties, so it is hoped the new developments will inject new life into villages.

The homes will be a mix of shared ownership, rent to buy and specialist homes for rent.

Broadacres said they want to attract a range of customers from young people seeking the first step on the property ladder, those looking to downsize, and elderly people who want to remain independent but need occasional support.

The funding Broadacres has received, from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency, forms part of a £7bn Government programme aimed at meeting the diverse housing needs of the country. More than 200,000 new homes will be built as part of the programme.