Rural Housing Week, taking place 4-8 July, is our opportunity to put levelling up in a rural context.
While levelling up has focused primarily on the 'red wall', the challenges of poor infrastructure, poverty and adequate housing can be even greater in rural areas. That’s why the theme for Rural Housing Week 2022 is ‘levelling up rural communities’.
This is my first Rural Housing Week as the NHF External Affairs Manager lead for rural housing so I’m particularly excited about it. An annual campaign to showcase the fantastic work housing associations do in rural communities, Rural Housing Week 2022 is your chance to highlight the tremendous impact of the homes and services you provide in your rural communities. It’s also an opportunity to learn from one another by sharing best practice and connecting with colleagues from other organisations.
There are lots of ways you can get involved in Rural Housing Week 2022:
We’re also hosting two online events which are free for NHF members to join.
On Monday 4 July, Rural homelessness: England’s hidden crisis? will focus on rural homelessness. Homelessness in rural areas has more than doubled in the last two years and is rising. Sometimes considered a ‘hidden issue’ the extent of rural homelessness isn’t always captured in national statistics. For this event, we’re bringing together experts from universities, charities and housing associations to discuss new research on the drivers of rural homelessness.
On Wednesday 6 July, Is housing the key to levelling up the rural economy? will examine the critical role that social housing plays in sustaining the rural economy. Residents in rural areas are hit by a double-bind of lower wages and higher housing costs. In just one region, young people leaving North Yorkshire to live and work elsewhere are leaving a £1.5bn hole in the local economy every year. We know that housing is key to attracting more young people to stay. We’ll be joined by experts from Pragmatix Research, the Community Land and Business Association and housing associations to discuss how the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will impact rural areas and how we can make the case for housing as a way to build dynamic rural economies.
Levelling up must mean reducing regional inequality, investing in skills and education and modernising our infrastructure, but that mission is impossible without good quality homes in places where people want to live. This could transform rural communities so I hope you will help us place rural housing front-and-centre of the levelling up agenda. Find out more about Rural Housing Week.