2021 Rural Housing Summit

Over the last week in February 2021 we ran the online Rural Housing Summit. The summit included a packed programme of sessions exploring a variety of topics under the themes of:

  • community-led housing,
  • quality homes for rural communities,
  • affordable homes for all,
  • resourcing for rural housing, and
  • the future of rural places.

Recordings of most of the live sessions are now available below thanks to support from UN-Habitat and sponsorship from Ecology Building Society. You can also watch recordings of the keynote addresses and our series of Rural Voices videos which were created by people across rural cotland to highlight the impact of the rural housing crisis and ways individuals and community organisations are trying to tackle housing need in their local areas.

All resources are free, though if you would like to support our work you are welcome to donate the price of a cup of coffee or more on our donations page.

Community-Led Housing

Approaches to community-led housing (webinar with Q&A)
Hear how rural communities have used a variety of routes to tackle housing need in their own areas.
Confirmed speakers: Moray Finch – Mull & Iona Community Trust, Mike Staples – South of Scotland Community Housing, Allan Shepherd – Wales Cooperative Centre, Martha Shields – Eden Housing Association.
We hope to make a recording of this session available shortly.


Collective action on community-led housing (Q&A)
Hear from some of the individuals and communities using collective approaches to tackle a range of housing needs and goals and ask your own questions about cohousing, collective self build, mutual home ownership, and more.
Panellists: Jenny Rambridge – Hope Cohousing, John Kinsley- John Kinsley Architects, Paul Chatterton – University of Leeds


Support for community-led housing (panel discussion)
What support do communities need to facilitate community-led housing? How are different countries providing this? And what more needs to be done?
Confirmed panelists: Casey Edwards – Wales Cooperative Centre, Shaheena Din – Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, Pete Duncan – National CLT Network, Derek Logie – Rural Housing Scotland
Listen to the Support for Community Led Housing podcast to hear the panel discussion


Quality Homes for Rural Communities

Innovation in sustainable rural housing (webinar with Q&A)
Explore some of the innovative technical solutions to providing energy efficient, affordable homes in rural areas.
Speakers: Craig White – Agile Homes, Peter Wilson – Build Back Rural, Neil Sutherland – Makar


Modular housing for rural communities (webinar with Q&A)
Join the Wee House Company as they use practical examples from their current project delivering affordable homes for Mull and Iona Communities Trust to walk you through the off-site modular construction process.


Homes for health and wellbeing (webinar with Q&A)
How does housing impact on the health and wellbeing of people in rural communities, and how could an integrated approach to housing be an effective tool in improving public health?
Confirmed panelists: Prof. Sandy Halliday – Gaia Research, Emma Osmundson – Exeter City Council, Sheena Raeburn – Landscape Architect


Affordable Homes for All

Sustainable rural housing (webinar with Q&A)
Find out how sustainable rural housing models minimise environmental impact, reduce fuel poverty and improve health and wellbeing.
Speakers: Keith Henson – Barcud (Wales), Kevin Garvey – National Housing Federation (England), Matt Bridgestock – John Gilbert Architects, John Kinsley – John Kinsley Architects, Pete Allen – Cohere


Sharing our communities: Homes, second ‘homes’ and huts (panel discussion)
How do we strike the balance between serving the needs of those who live in our rural communities, and allowing others to enjoy the countryside?
Confirmed panelists: Lesley Riddoch – Broadcaster and land reform campaigner, Prof. Kjell Overvåg – University of Agder (Norway), Angus Dodds – Savills, Richard Heggie – Urban Animation
Listen to the recording of the Sharing our communities: Homes, second ‘homes’ and huts panel discussion


Identifying rural housing need (webinar with Q&A)
Join Sinéad Collins from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive as she outlines the specific approach taken to assess and meet housing need in rural NI, where the need for social and affordable housing can often be hidden; and explore how Rural Housing Need Tests can contribute to sustainable rural communities.
Listen to the recording of the Identifying Rural Housing Need session and download the presentation


The quiet rise of rural homelessness (webinar with Q&A)
How is rural homelessness impacting on our communities and what could we be doing to tackle it? International perspectives on the under-reported problem of rural homelessness, its characteristics and impact on rural communities.
Speakers: Terrilee Kelford – National Alliance to End Rural Remote Homelessness (Canada), Derek Logie – Rural Housing Scotland, Ruth Montgomery – Rural Housing Association (N. Ireland), Maureen Kerr – Northern Ireland Housing Executive


Resourcing for Rural Housing

Land for housing (webinar with Q&A)
How do rural communities access land for housing? What happens when you give communities right to buy land? Hear about approaches taken in different countries and the early impact of land reform in Scotland.
Speakers: Debbie Mackay – Savills, Jo Lavis – Action with Communities in Rural England, Calum Macleod – Community Land Scotland, David Stewart – Scottish Land Commission


Funding routes for community-led housing (webinar with Q&A)
From traditional mortgages to more innovative approaches such as community shares, find out how rural communities are funding new homes to meet local housing need.
Speakers: Jon Lee – Ecology Building Society, Anne-Helene Sinha – CAF Venturesome, Morven Lyon – Community Shares Scotland


The Future of Rural Places

Repopulating rural (webinar with Q&A)
Repopulating our rural areas can build sustainable communities for local and national benefit, but what is needed to ensure sustainable and positive regrowth in rural areas, and how do initiatives such as rewilding and the green economy fit with the needs of local people?
Speakers: Magnus Davidson – University of the Highlands and Islands, Jeremy Leggett – Bunloit Estate; Miriam Brett – Common Wealth


Rethinking rural (panel discussion)
Now more then ever rural communities have the potential to connect globally, bringing the world their door and sharing their own brand of innovation and resourcefulness with others. We discuss how the image of the rural idyll has changed and ask if some communities are still being left behind.
Panelists: Prof. Mark Shucksmith – Newcastle University; Amanda Burgauar – Commonweal, Alex Durie – Architect


Building cultural and economic capacity (webinar with Q&A)
How are businesses and individuals working to build cultural and economic capacity within their rural communities? How does housing provision affect this? And what action is being taken to tackle housing need to enable thriving communities?
Speakers: Susan Cull, Vice President (Operations) Shorefast (Fogo Island, Newfoundland), David Nicol – Promote Shetland, Prof. Sarah Skerratt – Royal Society of Edinburgh, Pàdruig Morrison – Musician/Composer, Island Housing and Gaelic Campaigner


We are delighted to be working with UN-Habitat, Ecology Building Society and partners across the UK, Ireland and beyond to bring you the Rural Housing Summit in place of our annual conference in 2021.