Working with rural communities

We recognise that a strong sense of community is important in rural areas. However for some people, loneliness and isolation can become a real problem. We also know that many small communities feel that their voices are not heard.

We are working hard to combat this. We would encourage all rural community groups to take an active role in their local Housing Community Network (HCN) that operates in our district offices.

Rural HCN members can also take part in our Rural Residents’ Forum. This group works with us to identify and address specific rural housing issues.

For more information on how you can join our Rural Residents’ Forum please download our leaflet

Our initiatives

We offer funding opportunities for local communities who want to invest in their rural neighbourhoods.

  • The Social Housing Enterprise Programme is an investment scheme for individuals or groups in our estates. We aim to develop economic activity in rural areas through this project.
  • Our Rural Community Awards scheme gives cash awards to rural community groups who work to improve their local areas.
  • Our Community Grants scheme – contact your local area office for more information

Find out more

If you live in a rural area where there is no community group, we can offer you support and advice to start one. You can get more information from our getting involved section.

You can also find out about the support available for groups from:

We also publish our ‘Rural Matters’ magazine for rural community groups and representatives. If you want to receive a copy, please contact our  Rural Housing Unit.

Independent living in rural areas