Welcome to HARAH
Welcome to the online home of HARAH – the Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing.
Our vision is to ensure that rural communities are sustainable and inclusive by enabling an increase in the supply of affordable housing to meet local needs.
Who are we?
HARAH was formed in 2005. The partnership grew out of the steering group for the Rural Housing Enablers, which had been meeting for 4 years prior to the formation of HARAH . Our main aim is to increase the supply of affordable housing in the rural villages of Hampshire, to ensure local people are able to afford to live in the places where they were brought up, work, or have family connections, and in doing so to help strengthen rural communities.
The members of HARAH are Action Hampshire which hosts the Hampshire Rural Enablers (RHEs), the Homes and Communities Agency, Hampshire County Council, the six rural local authorities in Hampshire - Basingstoke and Deane, East Hampshire, Hart, New Forest, Test Valley, Winchester, New Forest National Park Authority and Southdowns National Park Authority.
HARAH has selected Hampshire Village Homes as its development partner. Hampshire Village Homes are a consortium of 5 housing providers working together: Hastoe, English Rural, Winchester Housing Trust, PHA Homes and New Forest Villages Housing Association. Partners in Hampshire Village Homes develop and manage the affordable homes for HARAH. They were selected through a competitive selection process involving a number of housing providers.
What do we do?
We build small groups of affordable homes in rural villages for local people, to enable people with strong local connections to a parish to remain or return there.
Officers within the HARAH partnership work as a team, together with the local community, usually represented by the Parish Council, to identify local housing need and develop suitable affordable housing to meet the need.
Our target is to build 50 new affordable homes for local people each year until 2020. In 2015/16, 27 new affordable rural homes were completed with HARAH support in 3 Hampshire villages. By the end of March 2016 we had contributed a total of 392 new affordable homes in 39 villages.
What are the benefits?
Providing affordable homes for local people enables local people on more modest incomes, including people with young families, to be able to remain or return to the village they grew up in. This helps to retain a mixed community.
Local people are more likely to use the local amenities and facilities such as the school, shop, pub and church which helps them to stay open.
They may also work locally in local businesses and farming and therefore help support the local economy.
In villages in which local amenities have already closed, a small number of affordable homes can help maintain the vibrancy of the community and prevent it becoming a dormitory settlement of commuters and retired people.