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……
The national network of Rural Housing Enablers has published new guidance of undertaking Housing Needs Surveys in rural communities. The document draws on their collective experience and sets down ten core principles that should underpin any local Housing Needs Survey. These are supported by a Q&A format discussion addressing a range of issues such as why are surveys carried out and what is included in them?
The guidance is endorsed by the Rural Housing Alliance.
The 2016 Rural Housing Week runs from 11-17 July. Keep an eye on http://www.housing.org.uk/get-involved/promoting-our-sector/rural-housing-week/ for news stories and other items of interest.
Jo Lavis, Director of Rural Housing Solutions, has recently published a Q&A on the implications of the Housing & Planning Bill for rural affordable housing. The paper focuses on the proposed Right To Buy extension to Housing Associations and the Starter Homes initiative.
Many questions will remain unanswered until the Bill is finalised and the associated Regulations published. However, the paper highlights the critical impact that decisions still to be agreed could have on the ability of partners to develop and retain rural affordable housing.
Rural England QA on RtB and Starter Homes Nov 2015
The National Housing Federation has recently published their latest Home Truths report for the East of England. The report highlights that in parts of the rural Cambridgeshire districts house price to income ratios have reached a multiple of almost 10 (for example, 9.9 in South Cambridgeshire).