“Rural housing faces unique challenges in terms of availability, accessibility and affordability. We must ensure that rural communities have the resources and support to successfully tackle these issues to provide a safe and secure home for all.” – Jonathan Marron, Rural Housing England
Housing associations are increasingly important in rural areas, as the lack of social housing and the high cost of privately rented accommodation means that more people are living in rural Housing Association properties. However, Housing Associations face a number of challenges in rural areas, which this article will explore.
1. Housing Affordability:
Housing associations in rural areas have to contend with high levels of poverty, meaning many tenants are unable to meet the cost of rent and other associated costs. Housing associations, therefore, need to look at ways to support those on low incomes or provide more flexible rental options.
2. Employability Issues:
Access to employment opportunities is also limited in rural areas, making it difficult for Housing Associations’ tenants to gain meaningful employment. Housing associations may need to consider a range of initiatives such as providing training or working with local employers to improve access and opportunity for their tenants.
3. Poor Connectivity:
Rural residents often suffer from poor broadband and mobile connectivity, which can make it difficult for Housing Associations to keep in touch and provide advice and support. Housing associations need to consider how they can work with local providers to improve access and what alternative options are available.
4. Poor Quality Housing:
Rural Housing Associations must also contend with a decreasing supply of housing, particularly when it comes to the quality of properties. Housing Associations may need to invest in upgrading the existing stock, as well as building more homes or working with private developers on new projects
5. Rural Isolation:
Tenants in rural areas often experience a sense of social isolation due to limited services, activities and community networks. Housing associations should strive to ensure that their tenants are supported both financially and socially by providing such opportunities as befriending schemes or even setting up their own community networks
Overall, Housing Associations have to tackle a range of issues in rural areas, but by taking steps to improve the affordability and quality of housing, provide access to employment opportunities and reduce social isolation, they can make a difference to the lives of those living in rural communities.
Employability and employment are critical issues for those in rural housing. This is an area that needs to be addressed by the government, housing associations, businesses, and individuals. There are many ways to improve employability and employment in rural areas, but it will take a concerted effort from all parties involved. With so much at stake, it’s time to get serious about finding solutions to this problem. Businesses can start by offering more job training and opportunities for residents of rural areas. The government can provide incentives for businesses to do this, as well as invest more in infrastructure and education in these regions. And finally, individuals need to take responsibility for their own employability by acquiring the skills and experience needed to compete in today’s economy. We hope that this blog post has shed some light on the importance of employability and employment in rural areas. If you want to learn more about how you can help address this issue, sign up for our freemium package and also receive a free marketing toolkit specifically designed for Housing Associations looking to make a difference in rural communities.