UK-wide events to inspire and support delivery of community-led affordable homes in rural communities

Jo Lavis, ACRE’s rural housing advisor blogs ahead of the UK Rural Housing Summit 2021 and explains why groups should attend.

Across the country rural communities are responding to the lack of affordable housing and finding ways of providing new high quality affordable homes. Whether working with a housing association to provide a small scheme or building it themselves through a Community Land Trust, they are stepping up and making a difference to the lives of people in their community.

The shortage of affordable housing affects so many rural areas. High house prices and an under-supply of social housing are causing young people to move away and leaving older people isolated and in homes they can no longer manage. Yet these people are at the heart of a thriving community. They often work locally, provide and use village services, give support to family and vulnerable members of the community.

Recognising the problem and considering doing something about it is the first step. But translating ideas into action requires support and there is lots out there. Rural Housing Enablers provide hands on advice from when a community first wants to explore the idea of providing some affordable housing to residents moving into the new homes. They help communities identify their housing needs, find a suitable site, navigate who to work with and ensure the community has a say throughout, including on the design of the new homes.

It is also the case that nothing beats hearing from those that have done it. Learning from them, the steps they took, and decisions they made. Being inspired by their commitment and sharing their pride in the affordable homes they have helped to provide.

As part of the UK Rural Housing Summit, ACRE has organised two sessions that are designed specifically for communities in England. Three communities will share their experience of different routes they took. Another will explain how they used their Neighbourhood Plan to provide affordable homes for older residents. There is also an opportunity to book an appointment with a Rural Housing Enabler.

Please come and join us and be inspired to provide the affordable homes that your community needs. You can sign up for Rural Housing Summit events here: https://acre.org.uk/our-work/rural-housing-summit-21-27-february-2021

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