English Rural has an active development programme, principally across the south of England. We are a specialist rural housing association, only building and managing homes in village locations. All of the homes we build are community-led and designed to benefit local people. Developments vary in size, but are usually somewhere between eight to 12 homes in total. Our average development size is 6 homes.
Generally speaking, we develop homes on sites known as rural exception sites, which enables us to ensure homes are affordable and secured for local people in perpetuity.
Our homes are designed to high standards, usually using local design features and ensuring that the environmental impact is minimal as result of property performance and use of renewable energy technology. Our unique approach involves forming a community-led local partnership to research, enable and deliver homes in villages.
Our relationship with local partners, such as parish councils, rural housing enablers, local authorities an in some instances landowners and developers is crucial to our success.
A Practical Guide (pdf) – How we work and the process of delivering affordable rural homes (produced along with other as a member of the Rural Housing Alliance) or watch a short video explaining how we work and what it means for local communities.
Homes are mainly built for rent, but we also build homes to sell either through shared ownership or some other type of discounted sale.
We are currently an investment partner with Homes England, which distributes government grants available for affordable housing. Where available we will also look to secure additional grants to help fund homes. The majority of investment is secured through private loans which English Rural take out, using the property as security and pays back using the rental income.