Rural Housing Scotland


We have been running free webinars during the lockdown period to help you learn more about various topic related to rural housing in Scotland. You can view the recordings of our webinars on Funding for Community Led Housing Projects and Community Right to Buy for Sustainable Development in our webinars section.

Ways to support our work

Become a member – Becoming a member of Rural Housing Scotland costs as little as £10 and not only supports us financially but also helps us advocate for communities and organisations like yours at all levels of government. Members also gain access to discounts and member-only opportunities.

Donate to RHS – Despite an increased emphasis on community led housing to tackle the rural housing crisis, the Scottish Government recently stopped financial support for organisations like ours who work to help rural communities address their specific housing needs. You can help us continue our work by making a donation to RHS.

Community Learning Exchange to Spittalfield

In February 2020 we hosted a Community Learning Exchange to Spittalfield, supported by Scottish Community Alliance, so that communities from across Scotland could learn more about the more about their collaborative self build project.

Representatives from Colonsay, The Borders, The Highlands, Orkney, Blairgowrie, Canna, Rum, Lismore and Aberdeenshire visited the village to hear more from Cllr Grant Laing who, in 1993 along with 11 other families, built their own homes together using Rural Home Ownership Grants. They then joined together in Birnam for an afternoon of discussions to hear more about the Hope Co-housing project in Orkney and the Bath Street Collective build initiative.

Read our report on the Community Learning Exchange to Spittalfield to find out more.

About Rural Housing Scotland


Rural Housing Scotland helps rural communities to take practical action to address local housing needs and build sustainable rural communities. We provide expert support to communities from initial feasibility – helping communities identify the need and develop a solution – through to the construction of affordable homes. We help communities secure affordable housing through community trusts and to work in partnership with government, landowners, and housing associations to deliver more affordable housing options.

We help people in rural areas with advice and information on rural housing options; promoting the uptake of grants and helping them find affordable rented housing.We work with communities across Scotland and have helped rural communities from Fetlar in Shetland to Foulden on the border.

Alongside our practical work with rural communities, Rural Housing Scotland plays a key role in the development of rural housing policy; building on our links with communities to highlight the extent and nature of rural housing issues to policy and decision makers.

Rural Housing Scotland has been active in supporting rural communities since 1993. For the majority of this time it has operated with one member of staff, but has made an impact on the lives of people in communities across Scotland far beyond its size. For details of our staff and Board of Directors click here.

What We Do

Rural Housing Scotland is a national charity which supports community action on rural housing issues, helping develop community led housing initiatives and campaigning to secure more affordable housing in rural Scotland. We undertake a range of activities to deliver rural housing:

Community Led Housing

Working with communities to tackle their housing challenges

Help communities secure funding for affordable housing from the Rural & Islands Housing Fund and other sources

Help communities to find land for affordable housing and support applications to the Scottish Land Fund

Undertake housing needs assessments /consultation

Assess the viability of community led housing solutions

Explore options for community assets transfers to provide housing

Develop business plans for community housing

Support community and individual self-build

Investigate new ideas like mutual home ownership coops

Advise on allocations and local lettings
Support communities to drive the change that they need

Community Engagement

Providing information and advice on housing options to communities and supporting community engagement with housing providers.

Organise public meetings and events

Hold housing advice surgeries

Meet with community trusts, community councils and other organisations

Social Media promotion

Championing Rural Housing

Ensuring rural communities’ voices are heard nationally

Develop new ideas to solve rural housing issues

Campaign for a fair share of investment in rural Scotland

Help ensure land reform secures land for housing

Promote the role of housing in rural regeneration

Provide a link between the most remote communities and all levels of government

Organise Scotland’s leading Rural Housing Conference