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Seven Locks supports Rural Housing Week

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Seven Locks supports Rural Housing Week

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Published by Becki Ord for IPB Communications in Housing and also in Communities

(Left to right) Stewart Harrison - Vice Chair Seven Locks Board, officially cutting the ribbon to unveil the new homes in Hungarton with Deborah Bennett - Executive Director of Seven Locks Housing and Cllr John Everett - Vice chairman Harborough District (Left to right) Stewart Harrison - Vice Chair Seven Locks Board, officially cutting the ribbon to unveil the new homes in Hungarton with Deborah Bennett - Executive Director of Seven Locks Housing and Cllr John Everett - Vice chairman Harborough District

SEVEN Locks Housing is celebrating Rural Housing Week (12th – 18th March) to highlight the importance of affordable housing in the region.

Around 800 of the 2,100 properties owned and managed by the Market Harborough-based housing association are located in rural villages and many of their services are tailored to their customers who live in rural communities, including meeting the demand for more rural affordable housing.

Only recently, Seven Locks Housing handed over the keys to the new tenants at their latest development to be completed - two family homes in thevillageofHungarton.

The eco-houses, which have been built to include air source heat pumps, solar panels to heat the hot water and rainwater harvesting, have been built by Seven Locks Housing in partnership with Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA).

An event in December, attended by representatives from Seven Locks Housing, Acclaim Housing Group, NCHA, local residents, the parish council and local councillors, highlighted the important role affordable housing plays in village communities.

The Market Harborough-based social landlord is committed to providing much needed housing in the rural communities where it operates and has built more than 40 new homes in the last two years.

Deborah Bennett, Executive Director of Seven Locks Housing, said: “Sympathetic and sustainable rural developments have an important part to play in rural communities. All too often young families find they are priced out of the market and are unable to afford to buy their own homes in the district’s villages, developments like this provide an alternative.

“It is fantastic that Seven Locks Housing has once again been able to work with NCHA to provide new homes in our rural communities. We have homes all over the district and they are in so much demand. It is extremely satisfying when we are able provide new homes and help towards meeting the need for social housing in the district.” 

NCHA, a lead member of the Blue Skies Consortium, is giving smaller providers of social housing, like Seven Locks Housing, the chance to play a part in the development of their own homes.

Rural Housing Week, organised by the National Federation of Housing, is a national awareness week to shine the spotlight on the important role affordable housing plays in maintaining small rural communities.

Housing associations, like Seven Locks Housing, are not only helping local people to continue to live in the same area as their friends and family, but they are also helping to preserve the economic viability of rural communities by ensuring continued demand for key services such as shops, schools, post offices and pubs.                                                                                                         

Mrs Bennett added: “We are delighted to be supporting Rural Housing Week. Along with building new homes we are developing our services to meet the needs of our customers who live in our rural communities. Last summer, we visited all of the rural communities where we have homes with a roadshow to connect and talk to our tenants who live there. The feedback we received was fantastic.” 

East Midlands rural housing facts:

  • The average home in ruralEast Midlandscost 9.3 times local incomes. Around 30% of the population live in rural areas compared to less than 20% nationally.
  • 59% of people living in theEast Midlands’ countryside agree there is a shortage of affordable housing for local people where they live.
  • 53% of people in the ruralEast Midlandssay families and young people are priced out of the countryside. 63% would support a small number of homes being built for local people.
  • Nationally around 400 village shops and 700 rural pubs have been closing down each year.

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