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  • Effective Way to Sustain our Rural Communities2003

    Part I This report represents a fresh, honest and innovative approach to determining the effect that affordable housing has had on rural communities in Cumbria. It includes frank views from people who live there and are affected directly and indirectly. I am pleased to be able to conclude that, on the whole, affordable housing has a positive impact on the sustainability of the rural economy.

    The findings and conclusions should offer useful pointers for local and regional strategies (housing and economic), as well as highlighting challenges for parish councils, local authorities, housing associations and the Housing Corporation. The report provides evidence to support further provision, particularly low-cost home ownership, but shows that more should be done to break down negative perceptions of ‘social housing’.

    Part II investigates the current planning position, which is often seen as a barrier to the provision of affordable housing in rural communities. It doesn’t have to be (and sometimes isn’t), and the report recommends a range of measures to give planners a more proactive role in supporting affordable housing. Some of these measures could take effect with the recently announced revisions to national planning guidance (PPG3).

    Part III will enable parish councils and community groups to undertake a housing appraisal for their locality. The suggested ‘tool-kit’ represents a useful first stage in determining local housing need, linked to sustainability.

    In conclusion, the report confirms the invaluable role of affordable housing in contributing to the future of rural communities, and offers some useful aids and ideas for future provision.

    Thanks are due to all involved in the research and production of this report, particularly Claire Stevens and Natalie Child from Lancaster University, Jacqueline Blenkinship, Independent Consultant, and Kirstine Riding and Penny Hayashi from Cumbria Rural Housing Trust.

    Paul Davies,

    Chair Cumbria Rural Housing Trust and Chief Executive Eden Housing Association

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  • Individual Village Reports
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  • Effects of Affordable Housing
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