Monday, 29 July 2013 15:17

Innovation 'key' to rural housing

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Innovation 'key' to rural housing

INNOVATIVE approaches can help deliver more affordable rural housing, peers have been told.

The Hastoe Housing Association launched its 'Innovation in Practice' report at the House of Lords on Wednesday, 23 July.

Hosted by Lord Richard Best, the event was attended by Peers and influential people from various organisations, including as the National Housing Federation, the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Delivering affordable rural homes has its challenges; some are legal, some financial, some are practical and some are about how people respond and behave, says the document.

Hastoe aims to demonstrate a range of innovative approaches that are being put into practice to deliver more affordable rural housing.

It also hopes to motivate MPs, local residents, developers and landowners – to take up the challenge in their own communities.

The publication provides brief rural housing case studies where local people – also known as 'key influencers' – have risen to the challenge, achieving housing for their communities.

It explores new ideas in housing, some are tried and others not yet tried. Some of those people and communities featured in the report will also be at the launch.

Lord Best said: "This report brings together the trials and tribulations of delivering rural housing and the heroes and heroines that make it happen.

"I would like to pay tribute to Hastoe and the people mentioned in the report who have achieved so much against all adversity."

Hastoe chair Margaret Clark said it was encouraging that there had been many success stories in recent times.

But the fact remained that there was an overwhelming need for more affordable housing in rural areas.

"We hope that this report will inspire people to press forward with much-needed housing for their communities," she said.

"Most people, who live in rural communities, whatever their circumstances, fully appreciate the need for sensible, sympathetic and sustainable development.

"It enables older generations to downsize and younger people to remain within their communities, close to family and friends and, often near to their work.

Case studies contained in the report aim to demonstrate what can be achieved to tackle the lack of affordable housing in small villages.

Support from the community, the parish and district council and a committed land owner are all seen as the right ingredients to help sustain rural communities.

Gill Payne, director of campaigns and neighbourhoods at the National Housing Federation, said: "Rural life in England is under threat because of the drastic shortage of homes people can afford."

She added: "Living in our beautiful country villages is a joy and a privilege, but that doesn't mean it's the exclusive preserve of the rich.

"If there are no working people in our countryside, what will happen to the local shops and pubs, the village school, the small businesses that maintain rural economies?"

Housing associations were ready and willing to build high quality homes – but they couldn't do so unless rural people told their councillors that they support the right homes, in the right place, at the right price.

"I hope everyone who reads this report will join Hastoe and ourselves in saying Yes to Homes at www.yestohomes.co.uk."

People in this conversation

  • Why must we stick to expensive bricks and mortar for low cost housing?
    On the market is a good selection of quality wood cabin-type homes suitable for singles, young couples and small families as starter . These could be situated in village clusters with community play areas and parking spaces, close to existing amenities. Costs need be no more than £90,000 each, and they could be 'green' and sustainable.
    Time to be radical and understand families NEED housing now!

    from United Kingdom

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