English Rural is a specialist non-profit rural housing association with an active development programme – only building and managing homes in village locations, principally across the south of England. All of the homes we build are community-led and designed to benefit local people. Our developments are high-quality and have a small footprint with an average scheme being only 6 homes. We are also one of the leading national advocates on affordable rural housing issues, with HRH The Princess Royal as our Patron.
Generally speaking, we develop our homes on ‘rural exception sites’. This enables us to ensure they are affordable and secured for local people – forever. Our residents and the local community are at the heart of what we do.
Affordable doesn’t mean poor quality. Our homes are designed and built to high standards, usually using local design features and ensuring that the environmental impact is minimal as a result of property performance and use of renewable energy technology. We build beautiful homes that villages can be proud of and our homes consistently win awards for design and construction. Our unique approach involves forming a community-led local partnership to research, enable and deliver affordable homes.
Our relationship with local partners such as parish councils, rural housing enablers, local authorities, farmers and land-owners is crucial to our success. We are only ever invited in by a village and some areas have chosen to work with us multiple times over the years.
We are a trusted, well-managed, and financially secure organisation with a strong track record. Our income is reinvested into developing more affordable rural homes and improving our service to residents. English Rural retains the highest regulatory grading for Governance (G1) and Viability (V1) from the Government’s Regulator of Social Housing.
Our homes are mainly built for affordable rent, and we also build homes to sell either through shared ownership or other types 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. Our financial strength enables us to secure the majority of our investment through loans at competitive rates, using our properties as security.