On average rural house prices are 40% higher than urban areas
Affordable housing is provided at less than it would cost on the open market. It is aimed at those who would otherwise not be able to afford a home in the local community. It can be for rent or for sale, and is usually at a fixed percentage below the open market price for a property in the same area. Affordable housing schemes can be provided through a variety of ways; via housing associations, through land trusts and co-operative ventures or by self build or private developers.
The RHE will work with the community to identify the best option for the area. Contact your local RHE for more information.
Meeting local needs for a home:
Development in rural areas is strictly controlled by planning policy, which can be different in each local authority area. Nevertheless, when a small affordable housing scheme is being considered there can be exceptions to the rules, as it is recognised there is a need to keep local people in their communities.
RHEs work with rural communities to identify local need for affordable homes and then work with the local community to find a suitable opportunity to develop. This is dependent on available land and then finding the right partner and finance to develop homes.
There are many innovative ways of providing homes for local people which can include working with a local authority, a registered housing provider or by a community led initiative such as a co-operative or via a community land trust. RHEs will support local communities to pursue the best option.
Meet the team.....
Arfon Hughes - Gwynedd Rural Housing Enabler
From Dyffryn Ceiriog near Llangollen, Arfon Hughes followed a career in TV and film at the start of S4C after graduating in Communication. He later studied as a primary school teacher, teaching Welsh as a second language in Powys. He took the opportunity to become the Co-ordinator of Menter Iaith Maldwyn (language initiative) and established it as a sustainable company limited by guarantee.
Receiving a certificate in Community Development from Bangor University, he later took the role of Gwynedd Rural Housing Enabler in 2004, the second inWales. Arfon is passionate about promoting Welsh history, culture and the Language as well as rural communities. He is a natural community developer and an active member of his community in Dinas Mawddwy. Arfon has been responsible for securing the delivery of over 80 houses to date in partnership in Gwynedd.
David James - Monmouthshire Rural Housing Enabler
The Rural Housing Enabler for Monmouthshire since January 2008. Prior to this David had been on two consecutive secondments, spending ten months as coordinator of the South East Wales Regional Housing Forum followed by nine months in the Housing Strategy and Equality Team in the Welsh Assembly Government. His previous substantive post was Research Officer for Torfaen County Borough Council.
As the Rural Housing Enabler, David has facilitated 56 new affordable homes where planning permission has been granted as a direct result of the RHE’s work, and numerous other projects have progressed much closer to the development stage. David is currently the Chair of the Midlands and Wales RHE Network. Outside of work, David is an active volunteer for a number of different organisations.
Mary Silitoe - Anglesey Rural Housing Enabler
Mary was appointed in April 2009 and had previously worked with the Communities First programme on Anglesey. Having studied Social Studies at Bangor University, she is particularly interested in social research.
Since being in post she has undertaken several housing need surveys and is currently progressing one site which will hopefully provide ten affordable homes in a rural community. Providing affordable housing is a priority on Anglesey and Mary believes that her contribution through working with the communities and across departments within the Local Authority will have an impact locally in raising the profile of housing and the options and help that is available.
Elisa Faulkner - Vale of Glamorgan Affordable Housing Enabler
Elisa joined BP straight from school, working in Oil and Gas Trading for 12 years, managing client relationships. After relocating to Wales in 2009, she pursued a career change moving into Social Housing and worked for Monmouthshire Housing Association for the next 3 years, in Housing and Communities, liaising with tenants every day.
Elisa took up her role as Affordable Housing Enabler at the Vale of Glamorgan Council in June 2013. She is passionate about Wales as her adopted home and hopes to build on the work done by her predecessor in this role to deliver more affordable, sustainable homes to the rural Vale community.