Rural & Homeless – From A Horsebox To A Home

Hear the story of 52-year-old Sally, who was made redundant from her home on a farm where she worked:

I loved my house, and I loved my job, and I was in heaven. I was getting on a bit, and I thought I’d be in that job for life.

Then that was it – I was suddenly made redundant.

I worked and lived on a farm, so when I was made redundant, they evicted my horses off the yard, and they evicted me out of the house. I was literally left homeless, with just a little pile of furniture that I had to my name.

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That’s all I had – my animals and a bit of furniture. Everything was completely out of control. I was heartbroken – just miserable and totally depressed. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. It was a bit of a whirlwind to be honest, and it just didn’t seem to end. Everything just kept going wrong.

I actually lived in a horsebox for a while, but I even had to sell that in the end because I needed the money to try and keep my head above water. Then I ended up living in sheds and out-houses and doing a bit of sofa-surfing, but you can only do that for so long.

In the village where I lived, a small plot of land became available where they were building affordable housing for people that had a connection to the village. I put my name down and bid on a home. Later in the year, a lady from the local council rang me and said I was at the top of the list and that the home could be mine. I just needed to go through all the required rural housing scrutiny to make sure I had a connection to the village and once everything was approved, they offered it to me.

I just burst out crying. All my dreams came true at once, in a beautiful place in a nice little village that I’d lived in for the last twenty or so years. It was unbelievable – I just felt so lucky.

I fully understand that small villages don’t want lots of houses built there because they think it spreads and you just end up with a big town. I fully understand that. But if you think of all the people that are born in the village or work in the village or have lived there – when it’s time that they need to leave home or grow because they’ve got children – there is nothing affordable in small villages or in the countryside.

The little plot that English Rural built here is absolutely beautiful. And if anything, it’s made the lane where it was built more appealing because of the way it’s been built and designed.

The plot in the village where I live has only seven homes, all of different sizes. And everybody that lives in this plot all come from the village. Where else would they have gone? They would’ve had to leave here.

I really do think that every village has a little bit of room somewhere to have a small plot for affordable homes. And if it’s built as nicely as it is here, it brings the standards up. It’s lovely here.

If you are a Parish Councillor and would like to know how to get small-scale, affordable homes built in your village, why not read the Parish Council Guide to affordable rural housing? Just click the link below:

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