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Affordable housing – helping Hampshire rural communities thrive

Affordable housing – helping Hampshire rural communities thrive

PUBLISHED ON: 4 JULY 2018

[Joint press release with HARAH]

It’s national Rural Housing Week and there is plenty to celebrate.

Since 2005 Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing partnership (HARAH) has provided 490 new affordable homes in 49 villages across Hampshire, including in the New Forest at Gilpin Close, Boldre, and Breamore Halt, Breamore.

Meanwhile the New Forest National Park Authority built two affordable homes at Bransgore in 2016 to let to local families.

A first for a National Park, the Authority had to set up a new legal framework to allow it to construct the homes and become a landlord. There are now plans to build two more affordable homes at Burley.

The land at Bransgore was kindly provided on a 999 year lease by local landowner Richard Frampton, who is a National Park Authority member, specifically for affordable housing.

Executive Director of Strategy and Planning Steve Avery said: ‘We worked closely with New Forest District Council’s housing team to find suitable tenants who had a local connection to Bransgore and set the rent at an affordable level.

‘We’re extremely grateful to Richard for donating the land which has enabled us to pioneer this new approach to delivering small scale affordable housing schemes in the National Park. The properties were built with developer contributions received over the last few years and any profits will be put back into similar schemes.’

The past year alone has seen an incredible 90 new homes built in Hampshire. HARAH is a partnership of six rural Hampshire councils, two national parks, five rural housing associations and the charity Action Hampshire.

These 490 affordable homes provide accommodation for around 2,000 local people, with 99% of new residents having a strong proven connection to the village where the homes are.

Figures reveal just how important these homes are local households – someone on an average salary would need a pay rise of between 133% in Test Valley, and 203% in the New Forest to be able to get a mortgage to buy in their area. HARAH’s homes are affordable – some are for rent at 80% or less of the market rent, and others are shared ownership. Almost a quarter of adults living in rural areas name housing as one of the most important issues facing Britain today, so these homes offer a lifeline for local people wanting to remain or work in their village.

As well as providing homes, affordable housing also breathes life into rural communities. On average, every month across Britain, 11 rural schools, three rural post offices and 1.5 village GP surgeries close. New affordable homes provide new customers and job opportunities to help keep Hampshire schools, shops, post offices and pubs open and vibrant.

HARAH is always looking to work in more villages across Hampshire, but in order to help local communities thrive, land is needed for the new homes. Working with HARAH allows land owners to provide a benefit to local people, to leave a legacy and to convert redundant land to capital.

Landowners, parish councils and local residents can speak to HARAH to find out more about rural affordable housing on 01962 857361 or by visiting www.harah.org.uk.

To find out more about affordable housing initiatives by the National Park Authority, email policy@newforestnpa.gov.uk.
-ends-

Photo caption:
The New Forest National Park Authority launches its first two affordable homes, at Bransgore in 2016.

Notes to editors:
For more information on HARAH visit: www.harah.org.uk
1. The Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing (HARAH) is a partnership that works to ensure rural communities remain sustainable through an increase in the supply of affordable housing to meet local needs.
2. Members of HARAH are: Action Hampshire, Homes England, Hampshire County Council, East Hampshire District Council, Hart District Council, New Forest District Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Winchester City Council, New Forest National Park Authority, South Downs National Park Authority and Hampshire Village Homes.
3. Hampshire Village Homes develop and manage the affordable homes for HARAH. Hampshire Village Homes are a consortium of five housing providers working together: Hastoe, English Rural, Winchester Housing Trust, PHA Homes and New Forest Villages Housing Association. For more information on Hampshire Village homes, visit: www.hampshire-village-homes.co.uk

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect – Enjoy – Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:
– Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park – Protect.
– Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:
Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media contact:

Hilary Makin, Communications Manager
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608
Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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