Introducing CAN's New Rural Housing Enabler

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In an effort to uplift rural areas and assist local communities, the government has initiated the Unleashing Rural Opportunity Strategy. As a part of this strategy, a network of Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs) have been appointed across England where a need to support the provision of rural homes through Rural Exception Sites. The Rural Housing Enablers will be in post until March 2025 to address the critical need for affordable housing in rural England.

Rural communities are facing a serious problem with affordable housing. High house prices, steep living costs, and lower incomes make it challenging for people to afford homes, especially those seeking cheaper housing options. Even renting is tough in rural areas, with more properties being used for short-term holiday rentals instead of long-term rentals. This shortage of affordable housing not only hinders economic growth in rural areas but also risks turning them into areas where wealthier, older demographics settle, therefore reducing community diversity.

Affordable housing is essential for maintaining strong local support networks, especially for younger residents and those with deep-rooted connections to the area. This is where our newly appointed Rural Housing Enabler steps in to make a difference! By working closely with local communities, our Rural Housing Enabler is dedicated to addressing the growing need for affordable housing.

"CAN is really pleased to be able to host a Rural Housing Enabler to assist communities in Norfolk to find and develop affordable housing opportunities. Affordable housing is vital to maintain thriving communities and we are excited to be able to support smaller communities across Norfolk. We are confident that we can make a difference." Rik Martin- CEO

So, how exactly can a Rural Housing Enabler help?

  • Well, they can help build community support, independently encouraging constructive engagement throughout the process of considering new homes.
  • They can help communities understand what their housing need is, by carrying out surveys of local people on your behalf.
  • They can help identify suitable sites for development if there is a need and desire to do so.
  • They can help bring key partners together to turn plans into new affordable homes for local people.

"If you’re involved with your Parish Council and think that your community could benefit from new affordable homes for local people, or are a landowner who has a suitable site for sale, then please do get in touch with me as I’d be more than happy to explain further and discuss possible next steps." Simon Swanson-Rural Housing Enabler for CAN.

To find out more about Simon's role, please get in contact: Tel- 01362545030 Email- simon.swanson@communityactionnorfolk.org.uk