During the past few months, rural communities have shown how resilient they can be.
Rural households have worked together and supported each other at a time of isolation from their families, friends, support networks and local services on which they depend.
The important relationship between town and country has been exposed – with one dependent on the other for food, livelihoods and wellbeing.
Having time to look at things differently, has allowed rural communities to reflect on what is important.
Villages have adapted to new ways of working and serving their communities in ways previously unseen. By unlocking this potential, we have uncovered an opportunity to rebuild a new normal and aspire to a ‘rural renaissance’.
The role and appeal of rural communities is now stronger than ever.
But communities need people, and people need homes. And they can only thrive with increased support for – and investment in – homes. Most critically, affordable homes.
Rural Housing Associations, such as English Rural, work in partnership with rural communities and the Government to invest in building new affordable homes.
We build small, well-designed developments in partnership with the local community. Making sure that villages attract and retain a balance of income earners and household types.
The homes we provide stimulate local economies by creating jobs, customers for local businesses, and somewhere for a local workforce to live.
They keep families and support networks intact, reducing isolation and risks to vulnerable households.
Importantly, the focus on affordable homes supports low-income essential workers, whose value has come to the fore over recent months.
To the rural communities, the parish councils, local authorities and the housing associations that support what we do. Thank you.