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27 June 2014

Rural Housing Week - how are you getting involved?

30 June – 4 July

Led by Community Housing Cymru, working with the National Housing Federation, housing associations, Rural Housing Enablers and local authorities, the week presents us with an opportunity to highlight successes and challenges around housing in a rural context. Your involvement will be key to the success of the week.

We know affordable housing is the lifeblood of any sustainable rural community. A lack of affordable housing means a lack of people, and a lack of local people means a decreasing need for rural services and local amenities.

Rural Week is our chance to plan some positive and engaging activity for stakeholder, tenants and elected representatives, as well as local people, to highlight the value of a thriving rural community and the essential role of affordable housing to make it sustainable.

The NIMBY lobby is still out in full strength and we need to highlight that even a small number of new affordable homes can benefit the whole community and help sustain local businesses and services. Affordable housing is about much more than bricks and mortar – it’s the lifeblood of a sustainable community. We know this – does everyone else? Get involved, get creative and, most of all, get communicating the good work you do!

If you are on social media, please use the #ruralhousing hashtag.

Have you signed up to support our Thunderclap campaign: http://t.co/RpZYtEsiCV This will generate a tweet or facebook post from all supporters next Thursday at 2:30pm and the more people who sign up, the better reach we get.

Themes for the week:

Looking at Welsh Government’s Building Resilient Communities strategy - Preventing Poverty, Helping people into work and Mitigating the impact of poverty and their white paper for ‘A sustainable Wales – better choices for a better future’, which states that sustainable development means enhancing the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of people and communities, we believe rural housing associations contribute to and provide solutions to both these strategies.

We intend to focus on the following themes throughout the week:

Monday 30 Development / Supply / Empty Properties and Transport

Tuesday 1 Employment / Skills / Learning and training

Wednesday 2 Financial Inclusion / Digital inclusion / Welfare reform

Thursday 3 Health and wellbeing / Ageing Population / Fuel Poverty

Friday 4 Culture / Welsh language

The aim is to highlight the ‘people’ impact of these themes – so not just what you do as an organisation but the real impact is it having on your tenants and communities. Can you help with a case study to illustrate any of the topics above?

Many AMs and some MPs have signed up to support sustainable communities, but many AMs and MPs operating in rural areas still haven’t – worth reminding your local representatives? The link to our Under One Roof Site is here: www.underoneroofcymru.org/show-your-support.php.

You can find contact details for your political representatives here: http://www.underoneroofcymru.org/representatives.php

We look forward to hearing how you’re getting involved.