Rural Housing Week at Braishfield


Hampshire celebrated national Rural Housing Week with events across the county.

On Friday 5 July parish councilors from across Hampshire and other guests visited Oak Close, Braishfield near Romsey. The 9 homes, a mix of 1 and 2 bedroomed properties, were completed in 2015 and provide affordable housing for people living or working in the village. Two of the homes are for low cost shared ownership, with the rest being for rent. The scheme forms part of close to 500 homes built by HARAH (Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing) since 2005. HARAH is a partnership of councils, housing associations, the national parks and charities in Hampshire. These homes for rent and shared ownership have been provided in 50 villages across the county and provide accommodation for around 2000 people.

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Guests heard from Councillor Peter White how the Parish Council had worked closely with HARAH over 7 years, to address the need for affordable housing in the village. Every year, many schools, post offices, shops and pubs in rural villages close because young families can’t afford to stay living locally. HARAH provides homes that can help people stay local and keep Hampshire villages thriving.

Guests also heard from Hampshire CPRE representative Dee Haas about the importance of providing the ‘right homes, in the right place’, and Jess Bond, HARAH Parish Champion, advised guests that providing affordable housing in villages is ‘hard, but the end result is worth it’. Councillor Chris Goss from Pamber in North Hampshire, where a new housing scheme is just getting off the ground, told everyone…

‘we would have got absolutely nowhere without HARAH…they are the experts’.

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After a tour of the scheme with support from Sovereign Housing Association who manage the homes, guests joined representatives from HARAH, Test Valley Borough Council and the Parish Council for a cup of tea and some cake in the village hall.
Luke Bingham, Divisional Director East, Sovereign, said…

“We feel strongly about supporting rural communities, building and managing quality affordable rural homes that mean people with a connection to the area can live in the communities where they grew up. It was a pleasure to showcase our homes in Braishfield, and to spend time with HARAH, councillors and our residents.”

HARAH is always looking to work with Hampshire villages and are keen to talk to Parish Councils, and any landowners who have suitable land to provide much needed affordable homes.

Contact details

If you are interested in working with us to provide a small affordable housing scheme for local people in your parish, please contact Mags Wylie or Bev Harding-Rennie.

  • Mags Wylie (Senior Rural Housing Enabler) Tel: 01962 857361, Email:Mags Wylie