National RHE Network responds to government consultation on the use of receipts from Right to Buy sales

The government has consulted on the use of receipts from Right to Buy (RTB) sales. This is a key issue for Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs) because so much affordable housing stock has been lost in rural communities. Most of it is never replaced.

RHEs have made three key suggestions in their response. Firstly, RTB should be suspended. Failing this, protections should be put in place for rural communities similar to the protections afforded Housing Association properties through the Right To Acquire. Finally, if rural stock is to be sold the recycled funds should be targeted on replacing these homes in the communities where they are sold.


East of England Community Led Housing Event Agenda published

The agenda for the East of England Community Led Housing event has now been published. The event takes place on Wednesday 8 August 2018 and places are free. Speakers include Richard Bacon MP, John Lefever from Hastoe Housing Association and Tom Chance from the National CLT Network.


2018 Myth Buster Tour explodes some myths

Cambridgeshire ACRE ran their fourth Myth Buster Tour on 3 July 2018 to coincide with national Rural Housing Week. A fully booked 33 seat coach took a delegation of county, district and parish councillors on a trip round a selection of rural exception sites. The tour included completed schemes, schemes under construction and schemes about to get underway.

Feedback from the tour was excellent –¬† “Eye opening. Myths were busted!” according to one delegate. Plans are already underway for 2019. You can read the evaluation report here.

Community Led Housing events

ACRE has secured funding from the Nationwide Foundation to deliver a series of events¬† across the country to support the delivery of community led housing. The events are intended to introduce and explore a range of Community Led Housing models in the light of the government’s Community Led Housing Fund. The events are targeted at Local Authority staff, Land agents, developers and other people involved in the promotion and planning of affordable housing.

Community Action Norfolk is running an event in Ely on 8 August 2018 and Community Lincs is running an event in Sleaford on 11 September 2018.



You can book a place at the Sleaford event at and further details about the Ely event are available at


New scheme in Tydd St Giles delivers on promise by Clarion to deliver 500 affordable homes in Fenland

A new rural exceptional scheme in Tydd St Giles was officially opened last week. Residents have started to move in and all 12 affordable homes were allocated to people with a local connection to Tydd St Giles parish.

The scheme marks the fulfillment of a promise by Clarion to deliver 500 affordable homes in Fenland.

Cambridgeshire delivering on rural exception sites

The Country Land & Business Association (CLA) has published a new report looking at the potential role of ‘Entry level exception sites’ in delivering affordable homes in rural communities. Entry level exception sites are a new proposal in the draft NPPF currently being consulted on.

24th Sept 2015: Sanctuary Housing – Lucy Frazer MP visits the recently completed rural development in Haddenham.

The report also looks at the limitations and opportunities associated with traditional rural exception sites. Of particular interest to this area is the finding that five Local Authorities delivered 45% of all affordable housing on rural exception sites in England between 2011 and 2017. And Cambridgeshire delivered 424 of these homes making it the third largest deliverer in England!

The Rural HAPPI Inquiry

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People has produced its fourth report with a focus on meeting the housing and care needs of older people in rural areas. The report makes a number of recommendations targeted at a wide range of policy makers and stakeholders.

The overarching conclusion is that

‘...despite government commitments to increase housebuilding nationally, special measures will be needed to secure homes suitable for older people – increasingly representing the majority of residents – living in rural communities.

The report can be read here