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A NEW guide promoting affordable rural homes has been made available, aimed at parish councils.

The guide has been launched by the Rural Housing Alliance and Rural Services Network.

It promotes the benefit of affordable rural housing developments and roles local community groups can play in their delivery.

The guide opens with a call to action from HRH The Princess Royal, a longstanding advocate of affordable rural housing.

HRH The Princess Royal, patron of English Rural Housing Association, said: “Small-scale affordable rural housing developments help to rebalance communities, keeping families together whilst providing a boost for local services.

“Parish and town councils are a driving force for change and a key partner in delivering affordable homes for local people.”

Peter Moore, chair of the Rural Housing Alliance and chief executive of Cornwall Rural Housing Association, said: “The importance of this problem should not be underestimated. This is not a new crisis, but one that continues to get worse.

“Many rural communities are approaching a watershed moment where, if nothing is done, longstanding local families, businesses and cultures will disappear, damaging the very way of life that makes our villages so appealing.”

To access the guide, visit www.rsnonline. org.uk/images/files/ruralhousing-guideforparish councils2014.pdf