Housing Needs Surveys

See how our independent housing needs surveys can be used to bring about rural affordable housing development for local people.

About the project


Surveys are funded by the partners within our Rural Affordable Housing Partnership or by private developers.

Why is this needed?

Housing needs surveys are required to identify and prove the local need for housing. It helps to identify those who may not be on the housing register and future households who may not currently be looking for housing but will in the near future. Housing needs surveys are a key aspect of bringing rural affordable housing forwards as a proven need is required to allow the schemes to progress. Rural affordable housing is a really important aspect of rural life as it allows young people to remain in the villages they grew up, for those on low incomes to gain access to housing without having to leave the area and to enable communities to remain diverse and inclusive of all ages and backgrounds.

Cambridgeshire ACRE regularly engages with parish councils, local authorities and housing associations to discuss the housing issues facing our rural communities and put plans in place to address this. Our first stop in the process is having detailed conversations with parish councils about the rural affordable housing process, the benefits of rural affordable housing and myth busting some of the misconceptions. We then undertake a housing needs survey with the support of the relevant local authority and in most cases the parish council. Using these surveys we create detailed reports that outline the housing need within an area. This then allows the local authority, housing association and possibly developer to have valuable, informed discussions about a potential scheme that could go ahead.

How can you get involved?

The Rural Housing Enabler at Cambridgeshire ACRE can provide advice and support to parish councils regarding bring forward affordable housing in their parish. We can also advise housing associations, developers and landowners on what is involved in undertaking a survey and why this is required.

What impact has our work had?

The following impacts have been brought about through our housing need survey work:


Watch a video case study regarding affordable housing development at Colne that was brought about as a result of a housing needs survey conducted by Cambridgeshire ACRE.

Play Video

Read a case study regarding an affordable housing development in the South Cambridgeshire village of Foxton, that was completed following a housing needs surveys conducted by Cambridgeshire ACRE.

Useful links

Who can I talk to about this work?