Calling on local councillors to secure a legacy for the future
AUTHOR: DAVID BARROWCLIFF, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER AT ENGLISH RURAL
Rural communities can only thrive if 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 and remain within the rural community where they have grown up or where they work.
It need not be this way. Across the country, local (parish and town) councils have supported and been a key partner in delivering small-scale, affordable rural housing developments. These have provided high-quality homes that are affordable to run. Their design is in keeping with local surroundings and reduces the use of carbon fuels and resources. And 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.
If you are a local councillor, you too could make this difference.
During Rural Housing Week 2021, which runs between 5 and 9 July 2021, the Rural Housing Alliance will be launching the Parish Councillors’ Guide to Rural Affordable Housing. When it is published, please take time to read it and think about how just a small handful of homes could make a difference to your own community.
Councillors can also sign up for the following free webinars which are also being hosted during Rural Housing Week:
- National Housing Federation: Committed to Rural Communities — 7 July at 14.00 — Ursula Bennion, Trent and Dove Housing, Martin Collett, English Rural and Gail Teasdale, National Housing Federation (NHF) Board Member, will share their experiences of how rural housing associations are committed to rural communities as part of Rural Housing Week 2021. You can book here and will need to register with NHF.
- English Rural: How Affordable Rural Homes Change Lives and Communities — 8 July at 12.30 — Aimed at local councillors or landowners in the Cotswolds but of interest to other areas, find out how you can work with us to change lives and communities by helping develop small-scale affordable rural housing. Speakers include Cllr Lisa Spivey, Cotswold District Council and John Mills, Cotswold AONB. You can register here.