Rural Housing Week

Rural Housing Week 2019 will take place from 1-5 July.

What is Rural Housing Week?

It’s an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on successful developments that offer a lifeline to local people in our market towns and villages, and to reinforce the message that housing is vital for the survival of rural communities and services.

Building for rural communities

The theme of Rural Housing Week 2019 is Building for Rural Communities.

Last year’s theme was ‘Saving rural communities’ which focused on how rural housing can help to keep communities together by keeping public services alive, such as schools, shops, pubs and post offices open.

This year we want to celebrate the contribution of rural housing associations in building more quality, affordable homes and improving communities – and to highlight the community engagement they do in order to achieve this.

We want to show that rural housing associations are meeting the specific needs of rural communities as well as driving up supply nationally.

We know rural organisations go the extra mile to engage with their communities so we want to tell the story of what they do differently, demonstrating the positive impact of:

  • protecting and improving the quality of existing homes
  • committing to high/future design standards and energy efficiency homes
  • engaging with communities
  • partnership working and collaboration

This year we want to bring residents and tenants to the fore to hear powerful stories of how their housing association has provided them with quality housing of a high standard and made a difference to their lives.

We’re encouraging housing associations to share video content or case studies to demonstrate the positive impact this type of work has had on people and communities.

How can you get involved?

We’re asking housing associations based in rural areas up and down the country to organise their own events and activities during the week to highlight how they are building better and creating great places to live, and to promote examples of their work through the media and on social media. It’s entirely up to you what form these take but here are some suggestions:

  • share stories, case studies or video content that showcases examples of housebuilding, or improving existing homes, that makes a positive difference to residents’ and tenants’ lives
  • share examples of great community engagement and innovation
  • organise briefing events for MPs, councillors and parish councillors
  • write letters to MPs, councillors, parish councillors and other external stakeholders
  • organise public events to celebrate the opening of new homes or tours of successful developments and sites
  • set up street parties and celebrations
  • write articles in resident and staff newsletters
  • publish blogs and web articles featuring strong stories or highlighting the issues in your local area
  • issue press releases highlighting the issues and demand for affordable rural housing
  • create a buzz for Rural Housing Week by tweeting in the run up to, and during the week, and getting involved in the debate. Remember to include #RuralHousing or #RuralHousingWeek in all your tweets. 

To help you contact MPs and invite them to your schemes, we’re produced some guidance on engaging with politicians.

Twitter chat hour

We're hosting a Twitter chat hour on Thursday 4 July from 2-3pm. We're bringing together a group of experts to discuss a range of rural issues, and you'll be able to put your questions to them.

Resource pack

We’ve produced a toolkit containing resources to help you get involved, including a logo, email signature, Twitter banner.

5-star plan

The Rural Housing 5-Star Plan was developed in 2017 through consultation with housing associations, and challenges the sector to contribute to a living and working countryside by building more homes and supporting communities.

Rural Housing Week is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of the 5-star plan, and to encourage the sector to do even more to solve the rural housing crisis.

The plan continues to underpin our work, highlighting the contribution rural housing associations make, and strengthening the case for more rural housing, so if you haven’t already signed up, please email us to pledge your support.

We've published a blog that underlines the impact the plan has had so far.

Rural Housing Conference

Our conference will take place on 3 July – book your place now. Join us to hear from rural housing leaders, key stakeholders and politicians, and debate the key challenges facing rural communities.