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Rural Areas: Housing

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of rural England is served by Rural Housing Enablers funded by his Department. (276643)

DEFRA no longer funds the Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs). From April 2005 to March 2008, DEFRA had part-funded this scheme to allow a smooth transition to local authorities and other funding sources after the Countryside Agency withdrew from this area of work.

The vision for the long-term funding of RHEs was that they should be supported at a local level by the same 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. Hence, local authorities, housing associations and registered social landowners now fund the scheme.