The Cambridgeshire Rural Affordable Housing Partnership achieved another successful year in 2017/18. Three rural exception sites including 53 affordable homes and three enabling market homes achieved a start on site. Cross Keys Homes began schemes in Offord D’Arcy (HDC) and Willingham (SCDC) and Hastoe began in Burwell (ECDC).
Frustratingly, a number of schemes did slip past the March 2017 deadline but the pipeline remains strong and a number of schemes are expected to achieve a start on site in the first half of 2018/19.
See this short Film from Rooftop Housing. Tim Wade, Head of Development, provides an entertaining take on some the myths that surround developing affordable housing in rural communities. (PS. It won’t take long – it’s less than 5 minutes)
Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is the national voice for the 38 ACRE Network members, including Cambridgeshire ACRE, who make up the country’s largest rural network. It has published an updated Rural Housing Position Paper. This sets out the top four priorities for action by Government and national policy makers, highlights some of the evidence supporting the need for more rural affordable housing and explains the role that ACRE and its members currently play within the agenda.
You can download the report: Housing Position Paper Final A4 Pages (no case studies). A series of case studies will follow.
Rural Housing Solutions and Strutt & Parker have published ‘A Hands-On Guide For Landowners’ which explains the options open to them in delivering affordable homes on their land. The guide is structured to mirror the stages of developing a rural affordable housing scheme on a rural exception site.
The guide is available on line and provides hyperlinks to a range of additional information so it can be kept up to date. These include FAQ sections, good practice and key contacts.
The sun came out for our annual Myth Buster Tour. Timed to coincide with Rural Housing Week, our tour of completed, part-built and still to be built sites gave parish and district councillors a real insight into rural exception sites. Housing Association and District Council officers were on hand to address any questions and provide further background on the schemes visited.
In total, 24 councillors and accompanying staff participated. Feedback was excellent and plans are already in hand for our 2018 tour. For those unable to make the tour you can get a flavour of what you missed by reading the programme_brochure_final
Cambridgeshire ACRE will be repeating our Myth Buster Tour of rural exception sites during Rural Housing Week. Book now to secure your place – Myth Buster Tour booking details.
The tour is open to parish and district councillors and gives you a chance to view a cluster of recent schemes which deliver affordable homes in rural communities for local people. The coach tour starts in Warboys and will take in a number of schemes in Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire before returning to Warboys for lunch. Delegates will be accompanied by Local Authority and Housing Association staff who will be on hand to answer questions and explain the background to each scheme.
Once a year Cambridgeshire ACRE trustees and staff get together to review progress against the myriad of programmes and projects we run. We met in May and had a chance to discuss the successes and challenges facing the Cambridgeshire Rural Affordable Housing Partnership.
The partnership had another successful year in 2016/17 with five completed schemes and 68 affordable homes for local people delivered. The partnership has now delivered over 250 affordable homes in the last five years. Despite a degree of inertia created by changes to government funding and policy the pipeline of potential schemes remains strong.
The attached presentation highlights some of the key achievements and challenges – ACRE_presentation_CambsACREboard_2017-05-10.
Our rural affordable housing programme and Neighbourhood Planning service are increasingly intertwined as we tap into our partners expertise on housing issues to support Neighbourhood Planning groups.
We are also looking to better integrate our housing work with the Support Cambridgeshire programme. We have been reviewing feedback from the Support Cambridgeshire surveys of parish councillors and clerks and will be running our Myth Buster Tour in Rural Housing Week in early July. More news soon……