Rural Devon can be a wonderful place to live, with beautiful landscapes and idyllic towns and villages.
However, it can be a challenge for local people to stay in the communities they wish to live in, due to a lack of affordable, quality housing.
According to the Office of National Statistics, in 2021 in parts of Devon the cost of an entry level home was more than 12 times our average income. For those looking to rent, they may struggle to find enough affordable rental housing stock in the area they want to live in.
For local people that want to stay in their own communities, both lack of suitable properties and competition from incomers to the area can prove to be insurmountable barriers to living where they want to. The current movement of locals away from communities they’ve long been connected to because of affordability often has a negative impact on rural services and community diversity.
Here is a sample of the kinds of household affected by this market trend:
- young adults newly employed and wanting independence;
- growing thirty-something families needing garden space; and
- 55+ people wishing to downsize to more manageable properties as they remain near other family
Keeping local people housed within their means is an important role for local authorities and housing associations. By providing social rents, affordable rents, rent-to-buy schemes, shared ownership, discount sales and right-to-buy or acquire as well as benefits and other agency provision, each local authority and housing association plays its role. The accommodation service Devon Home Choice works with both the housing sector and the public to provide a platform where people can bid for local rented homes.
Devon Community Housing Hub can now be part of the overall solution too.
How can DCHH help the Housing shortage?
We have a team of experts ready to work with communities in Devon to both understand and address their housing need. Involving local people in any development in their area is key to creating housing schemes that meet the unique needs of that community.
Talk to us about the professional commissioned services we can offer (and how you may be able to fund them) that can help communities at any stage of their community led housing journey. We are experts in engaging with communities and bringing together all the stakeholders in what can be a complex process; from understanding the initial problem, through to the ribbon cutting at a new housing scheme – and everything inbetween.
We work with parish and town councils, housing associations, local authorities, community land trusts, self-build and cohousing groups, landowners and private developers.
- Devon housing needs assessments and surveys
- Neighbourhood Planning support to bring forward community consultation
- Village and parish development site assessments and appraisals
- Community engagement work and local organisation building
- Training and workshops on local community projects of all kinds
- Community-Led Housing project mediation and decision-making support
- Senior housing surveys and guidance on independent living and needs
- Bespoke reports on any issue relating to rural affordable housing – just ask