There is a crisis in the availability of affordable housing in rural areas.

Whilst 17% of development in urban areas is considered affordable, only 9% of development in villages is affordable.  This inequality is stifling economic growth in rural areas and undermining the social fabric of many communities.  

Rural Action Derbyshire (RAD) has received a new package of government funding to begin a new project to help communities in Derbyshire unlock affordable housing opportunities in rural areas.

Rural villages can be transformed by small schemes of well-designedaffordable rented homes that are only available to people with local connections.  This means that people can live where they want to live, whether to be close to family, for work, or because they are rooted in their community.   

These schemes do far more than provide homes for local people.  They invigorate the local economy and provide essential key workers in schools, and care homes, and a local workforce for rural businesses in shops, pubs, farms, and tourist attractions.

For many villages, Rural Exception Sites are the only form of residential development allowed under local planning rules to meet the needs of local residents. Some villages have produced a Neighbourhood Plan and identified suitable sites.  Others may not have considered what their local housing needs are.  In either case, RAD’s Rural Housing Enablement team can help deliver the Government’s goal of increasing the supply of affordable homes in rural areas, set out in their 2023 Unleashing Rural Opportunity strategy.

RAD will be working with Midlands Rural Housing (MRH) to organise a series of events over the next 6 months. Parish Councils, community groups, and landowners will be able to find out how they can work with RAD to identify local housing needs and suitable sites for the development of affordable homes in rural areas.

We are pleased that Defra has made funds available to address the shortage of affordable homes in rural areas. Young families and older people often find that they cannot afford homes in the village where they have spent most of their lives. Building more affordable homes in rural areas for local people helps make communities stronger and more sustainable. We are looking forward to working with Midlands Rural Housing to help bring forward new schemes in Derbyshire.” - Beverley Parker, CEO at Rural Action Derbyshire 

If you want to know more, register your interest by emailing [email protected] or visit the RAD website to sign up for Rural Housing News to receive newsletters and information about events.

RAD is keen to identify rural communities around Derbyshire to work with on affordable housing needs and identify potential Rural Exception Sights.