This year’s Rural Housing Week takes place from 11th July to 17th July and is an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on successful developments that offer a lifeline to local people in our market towns and villages, and to reinforce the message that housing is vital for the survival of rural communities and services.

More than one in five of England’s population live in rural areas but in some of these places only a fifth of the homes we need have been built over the last five years. Affordable housing is vital in rural areas to sustain small communities and to ensure their continued growth, vibrancy and a good demographic mix. The lack of affordable housing combined with the ratio of house prices to incomes makes buying a home in a rural village an impossible dream for the majority of young people and families. This leads to young people having to move away from the community in which they were raised and from their family and friends in order to find housing that they can afford.

Devon Communities Together are participating in the week’s activities through our involvement in the Devon Rural Housing Partnership and are helping to publicise our housing association partners’ successes in rural housing delivery over the last 12 months. Three projects in particular are been highlighted which show how communities have come together with housing associations, landowners and local authorities to provide affordable homes for local people. All of the homes will go to people with a local connection to the village either by residence, employment or upbringing, and are designed to be economical and sustainable, with low energy bills and running costs.

   

A scheme of 4 affordable rented flats and 2 commercial units has recently been completed by North Devon Homes in Lynton. The scheme was opened by Peter Heaton-Jones, MP for North Devon who was particularly impressed by the quality of the accommodation. The homes were a challenge to deliver due to the lack of suitable sites in Lynton but partnership working between North Devon Council, North Devon Homes, the Parish Council and Exmoor National Park Authority finally made it happen.

A scheme of 18 passivhaus homes is about to complete in Christow in the Teign Valley. This consists of 14 affordable rented homes and 4 homes which will be sold at 80% of market value to local people. All of the affordable rented homes have already been allocated to local people and the discounted market homes will be advertised for sale to local people who qualify for affordable housing. The scheme has a mix of houses and bungalows and is the result of years of effort by the Parish Council, Teignbridge District Council, Dartmoor National Park and Teign Housing.

A scheme of 12 homes is underway at Moreleigh in South Hams with the first 4 already being completed. 4 of the homes will be for affordable rent and 8 for discounted sale at 80% of market value or less. The village will be holding a barbecue to celebrate the completion on 21st July. The remainder of the homes will be completed within the next 18 months.

Details of events listed here and please following the conversation on Twitter #ruralhousingweek.

18th August, 11.30 - 16.00 National Rural Housing Enablers Meeting, London - BOOK HERE

We will also be publicising events for our partners including:-                                                                                   

11th July 10.00 at Stafford Court, Totnes

Southwestern Housing Society (SWHS) will be presenting a cheque to support the Bob the Bus volunteer bus which services Stafford Court, their town sheltered housing scheme.Light refreshments will be provided in Stafford Court.

11th July 2.30 at Coronation Hall, St Giles on the Heath

SWHS will be presenting a cheque to Cllr Ken Hamlyn, the Chair of the Parish Council, to continue to help support the Wi Fi set up and connection at the hall. Light refreshments will be provided after the presentation.

Image taken at Collacott Close, Bradworthy opening, March 2016 by Aster Housing Association.

Links

Rural Housing News
Rural Housing Case Studies
Affordable Housing
Housing Need Surveys
Neighbourhood Planning
2016 Rural Futures Conference - BOOK HERE