A Round-up of our Affordable Housing work, for Rural Housing Week.

It's Rural Housing Week, so it's a good time for us to highlight the work that we do at GRCC to promote affordable rural housing. 

For twenty years, we've been coordinating the Gloucestershire Rural Housing Partnership (GRHP), helping to get new rural affordable housing projects off the ground, like the one at North Cerney pictured below. 

Affordable rural housing in North Cerney, Gloucestershire

Our partners in the GRHP are the four rural District Councils in Gloucestershire, plus our fantastic local housing associations, so that's Stroud District Council, Forest of Dean District Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council,  Cotswold District Council, and Bromford,  Wyedean,  Platform, Cirencester, English Rural, Two Rivers, and Rooftop housing associations.  Quite a team!

Cara Loukes, pictured below, will soon be working with our GRHP partners to set up new projects when she joins us later this month as our new Affordable Housing Manager.

Cara Morgellyn, Affordable Housing Manager at GRCC

"I believe that security starts in the home, and that good quality housing is the fundamental building block to healthy, fulfilled lives and happy communities," said Cara, whose previous job was as Land and Planning Manager at a large housing association.

"I enjoy making connections and engaging with people from all walks of life. Rural affordable housing requires dedication, pragmatism, and vision. I look forward to meeting the various stakeholders in this puzzle, from local residents to local government, and bringing person-led, community-orientated solutions to the table," said Cara.

GRCC also has expertise in running Housing Needs Surveys on behalf of local communities.  We can advise on writing the survey questions, and handle all of the processing and analysis of responses, either sent in on paper forms or submitted online.  A Housing Needs Survey is often one of the first steps for a community to create more local affordable housing, followed by community planning exercises and consultations, identifying land, and talking to developers, all of which GRCC can help with - just contact us via info@grcc.org.uk if you'd like to know more. 

As part of Rural Housing Week, we've been talking to people who live in recently built rural affordable housing in Gloucestershire.  In the videos below, you can hear directly from them about the huge difference it makes to an individual or a family when they are able to find a home which is affordable, secure, good quality, and in the area where they need to live for their work or their family connections. 

Sophie Brown lives in a small development of affordable homes built in 2020 in North Cerney, which is a tiny village a few miles north of Cirencester. 

Sarah Gautrey and her young son live in a fairly new development in Highnam, a village just a couple of miles north-west of Gloucester.  In her estate, there are some affordable socially-rented homes mixed in with the bulk of the houses which are privately owned.


Finally, we'd like to put out an appeal to landowners: 


Landowners, we need you!  Please talk to us at GRCC about enabling rural affordable housing.

Landowners, we'd like to talk to you about how you might be able to help us and our partners alleviate the critical shortage of rural affordable housing in Gloucestershire.  

Do you have a plot of land that you might be able to release for sale, for a potential affordable housing project to benefit local people? Or perhaps you could consider gifting land to a project as a donation or a legacy?  We'd really love to talk to you, so if you might be able to help, please contact our Head of Operations and Business Development, Barbara Pond, via bpond@grcc.org.uk or 01452 528491.  Thank you!