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Community Development Action Hertfordshire

Rural Affordable Housing

Affordable Rural Housing – Why work with us?

CDA Herts is an independent Hertfordshire-based charity, working in rural communities for over 50 years. We have achieved success in Hertfordshire by providing evidence to support affordable housing provision on “rural exception (click here to download a brief guide) sites”: (These can allow limited affordable housing for local people on suitable land, not usually available for development, with evidence of local housing need.)

Through our Affordable Housing Need surveys we can establish if there is demand for affordable housing in a community. Please contact our rural housing enabler, Giles Meredith 

Affordable Housing in Holwell, N Herts – 8 homes completed Spring 2021 following a CDA Herts housing needs survey in 2015

Help with Neighbourhood Planning through Housing Surveys and Assessments

Our surveys can help communities who are producing Neighbourhood Plans. They give evidence of real housing need that is difficult for developers and planners to ignore. The surveys can help to set out the type of affordable housing needed in the community.

You can find out more about Rural Affordable Housing by downloading our CDA Herts Rural Affordable Housing leaflet.

What can parishes do NOW?

The Housing needs of Hertfordshire are challenging. We welcome the opportunity to talk to you and your community to see how we can help you meet the housing challenges you face head-on, whether you are considering helping more local people access affordable housing, or if you are thinking about producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

Please contact our Rural Housing Enabler on 01992 289055 or email: to explore how we can help you and your community.

You can watch our Webinars – in Dacorum “Unlocking Rural Affordable Housing in Dacorum” and in N & E Herts “How Rural Affordable Housing Changes Lives and Communities” by clicking the images below.

We have sent an open letter to the parish councils in Hertfordshire inviting them to look again at their housing need. 


Flamstead Affordable Housing Need Survey 1st April – 12th May 2023 

CDA Herts is working with Flamstead Parish Council to explore the need for affordable housing in the community. If you live or work in Flamstead Parish, please complete the survey that will be delivered to you or even better it can be completed online from 1st April

Graveley Affordable Housing Needs Survey 2020

CDA Herts carried out an Affordable Housing Needs Survey in Graveley in September / October 2020 on behalf of a local landowner. We received a good response to the survey. We hope that the survey will lead to the delivery of affordable housing to meet the housing requirements of local people who came forward to tell us about their need.

Chipperfield Affordable Housing Needs Survey 2020 

CDA Herts carried out an Affordable Housing Needs Survey in Chipperfield in October 2020. We were delighted to have received over 225 responses to our survey. 

We are working with our partners and the parish council to explore how the need for affordable housing for local people can be met. 

We will be supporting Rural Housing Week which runs from 4th – 8th July 2022

To read more about the event please click here

Rural housing 5-star plan (Source: Rural Housing Alliance)

Housing associations will:

Barkway & Nuthampstead Affordable Housing Needs Survey 2019

CDA Herts carried out an Affordable Housing Needs survey in Barkway & Nuthampstead on behalf of the Neighbourhood Planning Partnership from 29th March to 19th April 2019.

Thank you to all those who took part. A report on the survey has been provided to the Neighbourhood Planning Committee.

Kimpton Affordable Housing Needs Survey 2019

CDA Herts carried out an Affordable Housing Needs survey in Kimpton (N Herts) from the 4th to the 25th February 2019. We are working with the parish and local council to help meet the housing need identified in the survey. Thank you to all who took part.

The Tring Rural Affordable Housing Needs Survey, June, 2018.

There was an excellent response of 171 completed Surveys (30% of households) submitted to CDA Herts Office.

This Survey concerned everybody living throughout Tring Rural Parish including the villages of Long Marston and Wilstone, or had family connections there.

Thank you to everybody for contributing to the Survey, a full Report will be made available to the Parish Council in due course.

CDA Herts Led a Community Led Housing Workshop, in February 2018b at Great Gaddesden Village Hall

CDA Herts supports rural communities with a need for affordable housing. We work in partnership with Parish Councils, District Councils and Registered Housing Providers to assess the need for affordable homes for local people.

Information is gathered through a Housing Needs Survey, which is distributed throughout the Parish, to obtain feedback from local residents on the specific need for affordable housing. If a need is demonstrated then a Rural Exception site can be used to provide affordable housing for local people and to remain so in perpetuity in that community.

By helping to provide critically needed affordable housing we are able to enhance and maintain the vitality of rural communities. Typically young adults seeking their first home or older people needing to downsize are forced to leave villages, or remain in inadequate housing due to the lack of available affordable housing.

Our housing work promotes sustainable development in rural areas and also leaves a legacy by providing a mix of good quality housing which will remain for local people for years to come.

In order to provide this service to local communities, CDA Herts has formed 3 partnerships with the District Councils in Dacorum, North and East Herts and their preferred rural Housing Association partners. With all the vested interest groups working together, the partnerships help facilitate the development process.

In response to a wider need to support Neighbourhood Planning Groups and communities looking at their future housing needs we can now offer Housing Needs Assessments and advice and support on Community Led Housing.

Contact Giles Meredith, Rural Housing Enabler

List of our partners:

Dacorum Borough Council
North Herts District Council
Hastoe Housing Group
settle Housing Association
Eastern Community Homes

List of Parishes assisted with Housing Needs Surveys over the last 5 years:

St Ippolyts
Newnham & Caldecote
Kings Walden
Great Gaddesden
Nettleden with Potten End
St Paul’s Walden
Walkern Parish Council
Ickleford Parish Council 2017
Tring Rural 2018
Bovingdon 2018
Kimpton 2019
Barkway & Nuthampstead 2019
Chipperfield 2020
Graveley 2020

Johnson Court Affordable Homes, Gaddesden Row, Gt Gaddesden

Following our Affordable Housing Needs Survey four new homes, built to Passivhaus standards by Hastoe Housing Association, were handed over to Gaddesden Row residents in December 2017.

Sir Mike Penning MP opens the four new Homes in Gaddesden Row near the village of Great Gaddesden, Hertfordshire

Sir Mike Penning MP opened the four new affordable homes in Great Gaddesden (Herts), in memory of former Parish Councillor, Alan Johnson.

The four homes, built by Hastoe and supported by Great Gaddesden Parish Council, are known as Johnson Court, in memory of Alan, who died two years ago. Councillor Johnson served for many years as a member of the Parish Council and was passionate about supporting new affordable housing for local people.

The land for the scheme was supplied by Dacorum Borough Council, who want to increase the number of affordable homes in the borough.

All the homes are let at affordable rents for local people with a connection to Great Gaddesden. They are built to the highly energy-efficient ‘PassivHaus’ standard, cutting fuel bills to as little as £120 per year. All the properties have solar panels – an aspect Cllr Johnson supported to reduce bills and carbon emissions.

Sir Mike cut the ribbon to officially open the scheme, which was also attended by Hastoe Chief Executive, Sue Chalkley, and Cllr Paul Harris, Chairman of Great Gaddesden Parish Council.

Sir Mike said: “It was a privilege to open Johnson Court. It’s a fantastic scheme – with homes let affordably for local people forever. It helps this rural community to remain strong as local people can afford to live in the village they were born and brought up in.”

“The super high energy efficiency standards will help keep bills down and make the homes even more affordable. It’s a great example of how to build new housing in rural areas.”

Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive of Hastoe, said:

“We’re experiencing a housing crisis in rural areas, as house prices are higher than the national average and local wages are lower. So has been great to work with Great Gaddesden Parish Council to build Johnson Court and provide safe, warm homes for local people. The Passivhaus standard and solar panels will save residents hundreds of pounds a year in fuel costs. It is a fitting tribute to Cllr Johnson’s memory.