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Affordable Rural Housing for Local People

Watch our film featuring key members of the community and residents talking about what affordable housing for local people has meant to them.

It is widely recognised that those living on low or modest incomes in rural communities face real difficulties when trying to find a home of their own within a village. Reasons for this are many, such as:

 · Right to Buy enabled council house tenants to purchase their home at a discount without these homes being replaced.

· Loss of tied accommodation as agriculture becomes more mechanised.

· High house prices and low wages in rural areas. In Essex the ratio of house price to income is 10.1 and mean annual income in 2015 was £29,780. Income required for an 80% mortgage (2016) is £68,680 (80% at 3.5x)*

· Gentrification where small houses are extended  reducing the number of first time buyer properties that are available.

· Restricted supply of suitable sites.

It is not always apparent that there is a demand for affordable housing within a particular area or what the benefits of developing a small scheme for local people will bring in terms of helping to sustain local service.

 At RCCE we believe communities have the power to influence change. We provide guidance and information to help in planning a thriving & sustainable future.

In the case of affordable housing the Rural Housing Enabler (RHE) can act as an independent advisor providing impartial assistance in developing affordable housing for people with a local connection.

*National Housing Federation – Home Truths 2016/17

 The government defines affordable housing as

 “Affordable housing: Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).

Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels subject to the criteria in the Affordable Housing definition above. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as “low cost market” housing, may not be considered as affordable housing for planning”

 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

Department for Communities and Local Government – March 2012

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Affordable Rural Housing for Local People: Information Pack

Abbreviations and Jargon.docx

Frequently Asked Questions

Information on Exception Sites.docx

Partner Organisations.docx

The benefits of affordable rural housing to the local community.docx

The role of the Rural Housing Enabler.docx

What is a Housing Association.docx