The annual Oxfordshire Rural Housing Partnership (ORHP) conference took place recently (26 September), to coincide with the National Housing Federation’s Rural Housing Week.
Eighty people attended the conference at Denman College, Marcham, where Andrew Smith, Chair of the ORHP and Executive Director (Place) at GreenSquare, welcomed everyone to the event.
Andrew commented on the success of this year’s conference: “This year’s event was not only a great success but also proved to be a fantastic opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work of the ORHP. The past year (2011/12) has been one of the partnership’s most successful, in terms of the number of homes completed, which is a real testament to the hard work of the ORHP and the Parish Council.
“It is unfortunate that news about affordable housing often focuses on the negative, so we were keen to broadcast the good news and highlight the achievements, where parishes have worked with the ORHP to build new affordable homes for people and make a real difference to their communities.
“Some excellent presentations and discussions took place during the day covering topics including; the affordable housing process from a parish council perspective, recent planning changes, and the imaginative initiatives that have been undertaken to ensure land is brought forward for small-scale village development. I am delighted that so many people came along to take part.
“It is great that so many people attended and the final message from the conference was an undoubtedly positive one - although the road to an affordable housing development is often long and always challenging, the end goal makes it absolutely worthwhile.”