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Rising to the challenges of rural housing

People in village communities are facing exceptional challenges, which are underlined during Rural Housing Week. This year the national campaign focuses on the need for levelling-up in the countryside, where a shortage of housing is having a significant impact on economic wellbeing, productivity and infrastructure.

Young people who have grown up in the countryside are often unable to buy or rent a home there.  Older residents face difficulties too, with a shortage of specialist supported housing making it hard to downsize to manageable, accessible homes.

We are proud to have made a positive difference in the South Staffordshire village of Kinver with the opening of The Burgesses, our £3.2 million new housing development for local people aged over 55.

Now home to 22 residents who have the reassurance of access to care and support from Care Plus, The Burgesses was constructed on the site of several bungalows that no longer met our high standards.

The project was completed by construction partner S J Roberts Construction Ltd and benefitted from a £1.1 million Social Housing Grant from Homes England, with additional funding of £145,000 contributed by South Staffordshire Council.

With photovoltaic panels supplementing the building’s electrical supply and a range of communal facilities including a fabulous roof terrace, the scheme has already been nominated for a national development award.

Housing Plus Group Director of development, Kerry Bolister, explained: “This landmark project received strong support from people who want to continue to enjoy their independence, in the heart of this very popular village.

“As well as providing much-needed affordable housing for older people, The Burgesses is also a great example of working in partnership to replace outdated housing stock with high-quality, energy-efficient rural housing.”

The Burgesses is part of our ambitious pledge to develop 2,000 much-needed homes in towns and villages across Staffordshire and Shropshire.

This year, that commitment will deliver new affordable homes on a brownfield site in the Shropshire village of Pontesbury and the start of work to create 220 new homes at Wrottesley Village in South Staffordshire.