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Residents explain what their HARAH homes means to them and the contribution that they make to their village.The completion of a pioneering project researching the stories of Hampshire families living in rural affordable homes was celebrated with a cake cutting at Action Hampshire’s Conference and Annual General Meeting on 13 November.

Unveiled among voluntary and community groups in Winchester, the booklet, A home for where the heart is, includes moving, first hand accounts from rural Hampshire residents who explain what their affordable home means to them and the contribution they make to their village.

Councillor Sandra Hawke, Chairman of HARAH commented:

“HARAH is tremendously grateful to the families who have given their time to share their stories. The HARAH partners want to pay tribute to the vision and commitment of the residents, villages and parish councils who have made a lasting difference to hundreds of families through supporting their local affordable housing scheme. We hope that through this booklet more parish councils will be encouraged to consider a scheme in their parish.”

Catherine Kirkham, Rural Housing Enabler explained:

“When HARAH surveyed residents of completed schemes it became clear that, while many were providing vital support to local family members and using shops and services, others were also contributing directly to the sustainability of their community as employees or volunteers. Too often the debate is about opposition to new homes with little thought for those in need in a community, or the contribution that they could make to keeping village life going.”

Sue Dovey, Chief Executive of Action Hampshire welcomed the publication saying:

“I’m delighted that Action Hampshire’s Rural Housing Enablers continue to support rural communities to shape the affordable homes they need. Working in partnership with HARAH partners and the community, we have found examples of engaged residents who have stories to tell showing how they contribute to the sustainability of their villages and how sincere and heartfelt is their connection to their rural community.”

The publication is the latest good practice contribution from HARAH aimed at promoting grass-roots support for rural affordable homes.

*Printed copies can be obtained free of charge from Action Hampshire by contacting Catherine Kirkham:
Email:Catherine Kirkham
Tel: 01962 857362