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Call for a second home tax in rural areas


<p>The Affordable Rural Housing Commission, a 12-member group set up last July to investigate the shortage of affordable houses in English rural communities, published the recommendations in its Affordable Rural Housing Report 2006. Other possible solutions included restrictions on the right to buy scheme for social housing and building an additional 11,000 affordable homes.<br /><br />Without taking action, rural communities will be undermined as many people on lower or even average wages are leaving the countryside to find a home they can afford, the commission warned in the report.<br /><br />Elinor Goodman, chair of the Affordable Rural Housing Commission, said: If we don&#0039;t act now, more and more people will be priced out of the countryside – leaving rural communities to increasingly become dormitories for the better off and places where people go to retire or for the weekend.<br /><br />Ms Goodman added: We have also looked at the issue of second homes and concluded that they are not a major problem across the country. But, they are a matter of real concern in some communities, where there is a disproportionately high number, and we recommend ways of mitigating their impact locally.</p>