Robin Swann urges changes in rural housing rules

Health Minister Robin Swann

THE incoming Government needs to relax rural housing rules to make homes more affordable for young couples and first-time buyers, Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member and his Party’s Westminster candidate in the area, says.

Assemblyman Swann said: “The next Westminster Government must recognise the unique nature of our North Antrim constituency, that it is an overwhelmingly rural region.

“However, the sad reality is that the price of rural housing has rocketed in recent years to the extent it is placing exceptionally heavy financial burdens on young couples and first-time buyers trying to secure homes in rural localities.

“The situation is made worse in cash terms with the rising costs of mortgages, even for people wanting to move to their second home.

“In practical terms, it is necessary for the incoming House of Commons Government to radically reduce the affordability gap for young North Antrim constituents so they can get on the first rungs of the rural property ladder.

“The present affordability gap is putting many homes in rural areas well outside the financial reach of young couples.

“The hard fact is that we urgently need the next Westminster Government to order relaxations in the housing restrictions.

“If elected, I will be urging Parliament to implement such relaxations in the housing restrictions to allow our young constituents to get onto the housing market ladder.

“Likewise, I also call for a similar relaxation in rules governing the renovations of existing dwellings, especially in rural localities as a further measure to help people on the housing ladder.

“I would also strongly urge the Housing Executive to address these issues when it is preparing its latest rural policy for the constituency,” said Assemblyman Swann.

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