Book your place at the National Rural Conference 2022

If your organisation is a member of the RSN through the SPARSE, Rural Assembly, RSP or RHCA you can book your free place at the National Rural Conference now and join rural specialists to debate key issues.  We have over 600 bookings already so book your place now!

Parish Guide to Affordable Rural Housing

This week sees the launch of the newly published Parish Councillor’s Guide to Affordable Housing

Published by the Rural Housing Alliance, which works in partnership with the Rural Services Network and National Housing Federation, this is a group of housing associations that develop and manage affordable homes in rural areas across England.

Their aim is to work together to share innovation, good practice and ideas, advocate the need for affordable rural homes and provide a unified voice on key issues. Additionally, they enable rural housing associations to compare and learn from each others’ work in areas such as design and sustainability.

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal is patron of the English Rural Housing Association and wrote the foreword for the Parish Councillor's Guide to Affordable Housing.

As Patron of the English Rural Housing Association, I am aware that rural communities will only really thrive when there are good quality affordable homes available to those who live and work in rural areas. Yet in many rural communities affordable housing is lacking, or in some cases absent.

This is not a new problem, but one that has grown worse. High property values, increased aspirations to live in the countryside and limited development of new homes have all had an impact. Many local households are now unable to find a home they can afford in order to remain within the rural community where they have grown up or where they work.

It need not be this way. Across the country parish councils have supported and been a key partner in delivering small scale rural affordable housing developments. These have provided high quality homes that are affordable to run and not for sale on the open market. Their design balances being in keeping with local surroundings and reducing use of carbon fuels and resources.

They have kept families together, boosted custom for local services, kept the community and local economy running with homes for essential workers, such as those employed in local businesses, teachers, care workers and those providing local services. You too could make this difference, so please take time to read this practical Guide and think how this could be achieved in your own community.

The guide sets out a wide range of information, useful to Parish Councillors considering their local areas.  It answers question from everything such as ‘what is affordable housing’ and ‘what planning routes are available’ to more detailed guidance on Rural Exception Sites and how to deliver affordable rural housing in your local area. 

It also includes a range of case studies to explore the issues further.

You can access the guide below or by clicking here

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