Housing is in short supply in Stanley, because of the increasing population (both from immigration and a high birth rate by European standards) and the move into town from the farm settlements, many of which stand largely empty. The government is helping to alleviate the situation by building houses to rent and by developing a large area to the east of the town as building plots with services and access roads. Building plots are in demand, and are allocated to local residents according to their priority of need. Many young people find their only other option is to rent a mobile home from the government or find somewhere to site a 'portacabin'. Professionals hired by the government are usually provided with a spacious house. Building costs are much the same as in the United Kingdom, the cost of shipping the house-kit being off-set by the absence of VAT, but land is much cheaper. Almost all houses are built of wood with corrugated metal roofs, and painted in bright colours.