Have your say on the Housing Executive’s Rural Housing Policy.

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Rural dwellers of Northern Ireland are invited to have their say about the Housing Executive’s Rural Housing Policy.

The consultation is open until March 21 and any person or organisation with an interest in rural life in Northern Ireland is encouraged to contribute.

Residents of Co Antrim are being encouraged to attend a consultation event being held on March 7 in Loughgiel Millenium Centre starting 7pm.

Of the Housing Executive’s homes 14% are located in rural areas and, as part of its rural housing policy review, it has proposed action under five key areas which it believes will contribute positively to sustaining a vibrant, thriving rural community.

The organisation wants to hear views on the provision of affordable housing, the improvement of rural homes and fuel poverty, support given to vulnerable people to live independently at home, developing safe, cohesive rural neighbourhoods and assisting rural development.

The Housing Executive’s Rural Co-ordinator, Sinead Collins, said: “The Northern Ireland countryside is one of our greatest assets, renowned world-wide. We want to make sure this is protected and enhanced but at the same time ensure those who live there are given all the necessary support to do so in a sustainable way.

“It is vital every person and organisation with a stake in rural NI takes this opportunity to ‘have their say’ on our Rural Housing Policy.”

Aidan Campbell, Policy Officer for Rural Community Network, said: “If we want young people to stay in, or come back to, rural communities then they need homes to live in, work that pays and access to services. We know housing affordability is a big issue and RCN is particularly keen that social housing continues to be provided in rural areas so young people are not excluded from rural communities. I would encourage rural dwellers and anyone with an interest in the sustainability of rural communities to get involved in this consultation.”

For further information and to book a place contact the Rural Community Network on 028 8676 6670.