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Housing: Rural Areas

Volume 472: debated on Monday 3 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will consider the merits of providing continued central government funding to rural housing enablers as recommended by the Affordable Rural Housing Commission. (189185)

I have been asked to reply.

The clear vision for the long-term funding of Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs), ever since the first ‘demonstration project’ was launched over 15 years ago, was that they should be supported at local level by the very local authorities and housing associations whose rural delivery they exist to support.

This reflects the Government’s desire to enable decisions about priorities to be taken at the local level in response to local needs, and the important role of local leadership and buy-in in enabling successful delivery.

In many areas this is happening. A number of RHEs are now self-sustaining. Work is currently being undertaken by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) to look at how that good practice can be replicated.