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Rural Housing Enablers

HRH The Princess Royal opening Paddocks End in Hutton RudbyHRH The Princess Royal opening Paddocks End in Hutton Rudby

High house prices in many rural areas are causing problems for local people on low and average incomes. In some places, prices are so high that they can only be afforded by commuters. Young people are leaving villages to find homes they can afford and local facilities, such as schools and shops, are under threat . Many communities are turning into 'dormitory villages' and the social and economic mix of the area is becoming unbalanced.

Providing good quality rural affordable housing is a key priority in York, North Yorkshire & East Riding. This is a complex and often lengthy process and we have a team of Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs) to ensure that resource and expertise is on hand to help rural communities.

Our RHEs work with communities and partners to increase the supply of rural affordable housing. This could enable local people/workers on modest incomes to stay or return to the village. Developments of this kind can help to support villages to thrive. The Rural Housing Enabler for your area will work closely with community and parish councils. They have the skills and expertise to:

  • undertake a parish wide survey to assess local housing need
  • work with the Parish Council and others, such as housing associations, to explore ways of meeting identified housing need
  • liaise with landowners and local authority housing and planning departments to identify possible sites
  • facilitate community consultations
  • help to secure funding for affordable housing
  • act as an honest broker between parties as the project progresses, ensuring that the community is able to participate.

Working across North & East Yorkshire and sharing ideas and experiences, our enablers can put you in touch with other communities who have developed rural affordable homes. They can arrange visits to give you a better understanding of the process and to demonstrate the positive impact such developments have had in communities similar to yours.

How Enablers can help

The RHEs work in the rural areas of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough, East Riding of Yorkshire and Selby, including the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks. They offer free, impartial advice to support the development of affordable housing for local people. They offer step by step guidance and support to deliver new high quality housing that meet the needs of communities and fit in with the local environment.

The programme is led by the North & East Yorkshire Rural Housing Enabler Network. This is chaired by Councillor Richard Foster and reports directly to the Housing Board on rural housing issues. Its membership comprises Local Authorities, North Yorkshire County Council, National Park Authority, Homes England, the Country Land & Business Association and partner Housing Associations. It is funded by an innovative model which includes contributions from Local Authorities, Housing Associations and National Parks.

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