Rural Housing Week is an annual national event whose aim is to highlight rural housing issues and to showcase the innovative solutions that local housing providers are using to tackle them. 

This year’s Rural Housing Week took place from 3rd to 7th July and the Rural Housing Team at Devon Communities Together celebrated the week with their colleagues in the Devon Rural Housing Partnership and held a number of events around the county showcasing the best of affordable rural housing and providing training and support for partners and local councils.

Programme of Events

4th July – The Rural Housing Team organised a Breakfast Seminar which was intended to raise awareness of the new Community Housing Fund and its advantages for housing associations and other housing providers. 18 delegates enjoyed a breakfast of bacon rolls, pastries and fruit and the seminar was well received.

4th July - Southwestern Housing Society held a series of events with presentations to local communities whose tenants are very involved in local activities. Organisations in Devon who received cheques for £250 from the Society’s Community Fund included Silverton Play School and Lapford Scout Troop.                          

 6th July –The Rural Housing Team organised training in Devon Home Choice (the Devon wide housing register) for parish councillors and Community Land Trusts. This was provided by Rupert Warren, Coordinator of Devon Home Choice, who provided guidance on the Devon Home Choice process, including applying for the register, bidding for homes and the allocations process. 13 delegates attended the training.

 10th July - DCH (Devon and Cornwall Housing Association) held a Community Garden Party at the Newcourt Community Centre, Exeter where DCH staff along with residents planted fruits, vegetables and other plants.

In addition to the above events, the Rural Housing team launched a Rural Affordable Housing display which will run in 8 libraries across the county on a 2-week rolling basis. The display commenced on 3rd July and will run until the middle of October. Libraries included are:

Axminster       3rd - 16th July
Sidmouth  17th – 30th July
Tiverton   31st July – 13th August
Newton Abbot 14th – 27th August
Totnes 28th August – 10th September
Tavistock 11th – 24th September
Bideford 25th September – 8th October
South Molton 9th – 22nd October

The display includes photographs of recently completed affordable rural housing schemes in Devon and explains a little about the Devon Rural Housing Partnership and its work There is also be a game for younger children who can make a collage of a house from coloured paper shapes.

“Delegates enjoy the Rural Housing Week Breakfast Seminar organised by Devon Rural Housing Partnership at the Devon Communities Together offices. The seminar included presentations by Steve Watson - Wessex CLT Project, Louise Lote - Yarlington Housing Group and Shelagh Fearnley from the Corry Valley CLT.”