The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Rural Housing Alliance

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

Our 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, we enable rural housing associations to compare and learn from each others’ work in areas such as design and sustainability.

The Rural Housing Alliance meets four times per year, and helps provide a single, clear and collective voice for housing associations’ lobbying and influencing on rural housing. TH RHA also has a strong presence during Rural Housing Week.

Membership of the Rural Housing Alliance is varied, but each Member has agreed to uphold a consistent pledge, principally drafted around providing affordable rural homes for local people while offering a set of guarantees to rural communities where Members work.

Our pledge is to ensure there are high quality, low carbon affordable homes with great services in rural areas.  We will:

  • Work closely with local communities and Parish Councils to find the best solution to meet identified housing needs
  • Ensure that homes are occupied by people who have a local connection or contribute to the sustainability and inclusivity of the village and rural area
  • Ensure that affordable homes always remain affordable
  • Build sensitively designed, high quality homes which contribute to the beauty of an area
  • Build to high environmental standards which help residents and communities reduce their carbon impact and be more sustainable and resilient
  • Provide locally sensitive, high quality services to our residents and their communities
  • Always listen and respond positively to our customers and the local community
  • Delivering our Pledge will create and maintain positive local rural communities as real Places to live and thrive in.

The Rural Housing Alliance is made up of housing association members who are supported by the Rural Services Network, in collaboration with the National Housing Federation.  Key individuals from the Rural Housing Alliance include:

Angela Gascoigne, Chair, Rural Housing Alliance
Angela is CEO of SHAL, a community housing association based in Bridgwater, Somerset. She has worked in the housing sector since 1981 in local authorities and housing associations across England and Wales and as an independent consultant. She has held several NED positions and was Chair of Llamau, the leading Welsh homelessness charity working with young people during a period of significant change. She is currently Chair of Somerset Early Help Strategic Commissioning Board.

Gail Teasdale, Vice-Chair, Rural Housing Alliance
Gail is CEO of Broadacres a successful, innovative not for profit association based in the market town of Northallerton in North Yorkshire which owns and manages more than 6,000 homes.  Broadacres vision is to be the best rural housing association in the country.

Andy Dean, Administrator, the Rural Housing Alliance
Andy provides secretariat services to the Rural Housing Alliance on behalf of its partnership with the Rural Services Network where he is a Consultant, which involves leading on housing issues.

Patrick Merton-Jones, Rural Lead, Rural Housing Alliance
Patrick is the External Affairs Manager at the National Housing Federation, working with members and external stakeholders on rural affairs, raising public and political awareness of the rural housing crisis and the actions needed to tackle it.

Another supporter of affordable rural homes is HRH The Princess Royal, who has helped the Rural Housing Alliance raise awareness of the need for village homes that benefit local people by speaking at and attending a range of events.  To find out more, download HRH The Princess Royal’s message in support of the Rural Housing Alliance.

The Rural Services Network and partners provide a wealth of resources on rural affordable housing. To find out more click on the images and links below:

A Design Guide: Building Tomorrow's Rural Communities
A Manifesto for Delivering Thriving Rural Communities Through Affordable Housing
Rural recovery and revitalisation – the economic and fiscal case for investing in rural affordable housing to drive post pandemic recovery
Winning the Rural Vote Campaign chapter on rural affordable housing

Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition

Rural Homelessness Research Report

Parish Councillors’ Guide to Rural Affordable Housing

View the latest content across many of the housing related services by clicking on the relevant button below:

To find out more about membership of the Rural Services Network and the many benefits on offer to Rural Housing Associations including promotion of your organisation, networking opportunities, rural housing news direct to your inbox and access to research and events contact

For any press queries relating to the work of the Rural Services Network and Rural Housing Alliance please contact Note, we are happy to provide live interviews and or quotes.