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English rural housing market policy: some inconvenient truths?

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mike Coombes


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Recent major policy innovations require each English region to agree the allocation of new housing between sub-regional housing market areas (HMAs). Allocations are to be based upon Housing Market Assessments that consider variation between and within HMAs, which will often embrace both urban and rural areas. Measures of the supply/demand balance within HMAs are to determine the distribution of new housing supply but these measures will be sensitive to the way HMA boundaries are drawn. The policy is inclined to direct new housing into urban areas on sustainability grounds so the way the new housing policy affects a rural area can critically depend on whether the HMA it is in is mostly urban. Yet the policy guidance on how to define HMAs leaves many questions unanswered. This paper examines these questions and shows that some can be resolved by critical examination of the policy logic, while others are more technical and call for further developmental work to be done.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coombes MG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Planning Practice and Research

Year: 2009

Volume: 24

Issue: 2

Pages: 211-231

Date deposited: 29/09/2010

ISSN (print): 0269-7459

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0583

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02697450902827360


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