A lack of affordable housing in rural communities has been a problem for many years. Incomes in rural areas tend to be lower than the regional average which makes it difficult for people working locally to live in the village where they work. High house prices prevent first-time buyers from getting a foothold in the housing market.
More affordable homes in small villages would support local people of all ages to live and work in rural areas and would support the creation of sustainable communities.
West Suffolk Council is keen to support and advise rural communities and parish councils that wish to develop an affordable housing scheme for local people.
If a parish council is aware of local concerns about unmet housing need or where the issue of housing need has arisen as part of the Neighbourhood Planning process, then they should consider what action to take. This is where West Suffolk Council will be able to advise on what options are available.
The delivery of affordable housing is a big project to undertake and can be daunting. The Rural Housing Alliance has published a practical guide for parish councils which can be downloaded from their website and is designed to address some of the questions you may have..
West Suffolk Council work closely with parish councils, local residents, registered housing providers, homebuilders, our planning policy team, and many other groups, to understand rural housing across West Suffolk.
Housing needs surveys
To support and inform our work, we research the housing needs within rural areas. parish councils can also commission independent housing needs studies to understand their local housing need. A number of local housing needs surveys have been completed. These have been in:
- Barton Mills
Affordable Housing Guide
West Suffolk Council recognise that there are particular challenges in providing affordable housing for the people living in or with connections to its many rural areas. With this in mind, we have produced an Affordable Housing Guide to assist all those involved in the development of these much needed homes.
Contact Strategic Housing
We are always on the lookout for suitable sites for rural affordable housing. If you know of any such sites, please contact us at West Suffolk Council via the email address below.
We would be very happy to come and talk to any local community group about affordable housing in your rural area.