Puzzled by lack of attention to rural housing

What should be done about rural house-building?
What should be done about rural house-building?
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From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.

IT PUZZLES me that someone can write an article (The Yorkshire Post, June 9) on attracting young people to rural areas, without once mentioning housing – both its lack of affordability and availability, especially to young people.

Since much of the housing stock in many of the attractive towns and villages in the Dales and Lakes is privately owned, when such properties do come on the market they are way beyond the young’s financial reach, and hence pass on as second or holiday homes to some wealthy individual who, as likely as not, has no connection with the area. In some villages the point of no return has probably already been reached. Even if young families could be attracted in by the building of affordable housing, it is doubtful that the closed shop, pub, post office and school would reopen.

If only, many years ago, when the problem was just starting to become apparent, a law had been introduced insisting on the purchaser of such a property either live in it full-time or rent it out to a young family, preferably one who had close ties with the area. Such a law would no doubt have been viewed as draconian, but that would have had to have been balanced against the long-term greater good for the area as a whole.