Carl Sargeant, Minister for Housing and Regeneration visited the rural hamlet of Trellech in South Wales to hear about the challenges faced by the Rural Housing Enablers (RHE’s) operating across Wales, in maximising opportunities for affordable rural housing, and to hear first-hand about the significant impact their work has already had on local lady Helen Edwards and her family.
Charter Housing tenant Helen Edwards, who had struggled to afford a privately rented property, moved into her new home on the Broadstone development a year ago. Helen was delighted to welcome the Minister, representatives from Charter Housing and Monmouthshire County Council, as well as the RHE’s into her home and said ‘I was brought up in the Trellech area where owing to a lack of affordable housing many young people are being forced to leave in order to find a home. To be able to stay in the area that I love and raise my children, close to my family for support and in a beautiful new home, really is a dream come true!’
The seven RHE’s took the opportunity to talk to the Minister about the challenges in delivering affordable rural housing in the uncertain economic climate and to showcase some of the work that has been undertaken throughout rural Wales.
David James, Rural Housing Enabler for Monmouthshire said “Every time we manage to build affordable housing in a rural area it is unbelievable to hear the stories of local people who would be living away from the community if they had not managed to get a new home. The more stories like Helen Edwards I hear, it confirms to me that the numerous barriers to get over in order to complete a development are definitely worth it.”
Kinsey Rise, Broadstone was the result of a partnership between Charter Housing (part of Seren Group), Monmouthshire County Council and the Welsh Government, who together with the Rural Housing Enabler for Monmouthshire successfully delivered six much-needed affordable family houses. The high quality homes were constructed using modern methods of construction, making them extremely energy efficient with reduced energy bills for the residents.
Kathryn Edwards, Charter Director said “Rural Housing Enablers have an important role to play in developing affordable housing solutions, providing a vital link between local authorities, housing providers and local people. Their experience and knowledge of working with local communities is crucial throughout what can often be a lengthy and arduous process”.
Picture – David James (Rural Housing Enabler), Helen Edwards (tenant), Carl Sargeant (Housing Minister)