Rural Housing Week (10-16 June), coordinated by the National Housing Federation, seeks to raise awareness amongst rural communities – both local decision makers and local people – of the important role affordable housing plays in making small towns and villages vibrant, sustainable places to live.
Not only does affordable housing help local people to continue to live in the same area as their friends and family, it also maintains the economic viability of rural communities by ensuring continued demand for key services such as shops, schools, post offices and pubs. Just a small number of new affordable homes can benefit the whole community.
In the countryside, homes are more expensive than in cities and towns, and often beyond the means of local people. The solution to this problem is simple. We need to build more homes.
The 'Yes to Homes' campaign aims to empower people who support new homes to have their voice heard by local councillors and decision makers. The first step in the campaign is for supporters to e-mail their local councillors, calling for more of the right homes, at the right price, in the right place.
So far, over 1,000 councillors have been contacted by people saying Yes to Homes. If everyone who is locked out the housing market, stuck on a waiting list, or no longer able to afford their rent said Yes to Homes, we would create the political space for our councillors to deliver the homes we need to save our villages and rural communities from decline.
GreenSquare, with its partners in the Oxfordshire Rural Housing Partnership (www.orhp.org.uk) is supporting the ORHP Affordable Rural Housing Conference – taking place during Rural Housing Week at the Millets Farm Centre, OX13 5HB, in the heart of rural Oxfordshire.
GreenSquare is also a member of WRIP (Wiltshire Rural Investment Partnership) and has a number of current housing developments in rural areas. These include: