How it works
For the past three years, Right Home Right Place have been conducting Housing Needs Surveys in all participating parishes throughout Shropshire.
We begin by contacting your parish council to discuss the possibility of running a survey in your area. Once agreed, and with support from the parish councillors and clerks, we’ll then distribute surveys to every household in the community via post.
Increasingly, however, we are running our surveys online and although any resident can request a postal copy instead, we rely on parish councils to help encourage parishioners to complete the survey on our website. Read more about why it’s important to get involved here.
When a survey begins, residents have a limited time window – usually around four weeks – to complete the survey and return it to us. All residents are strongly encouraged to take part, whether they have any housing need or they’re perfectly happy with their existing home.
During that time, members of our team may also take part in local events or virtual meetings to answer any questions residents may have.
Once all the surveys have been completed and returned, our team enters the data into our system and compiles a detailed report, which is shared with the parish council involved and added to our website for general viewing.
These surveys are invaluable, not just for helping Shropshire Council to understand the different demographics and housing needs in your parish, but also for parish councils themselves to identify whether affordable housing is needed in that parish – and by whom.
This data provides a tangible evidence of need (or lack of need, as may sometimes be the case), which parish councils can incorporate into their Parish Plans and determine what kind of housing scheme they would like, and how it will ensure the sustainability of their parish into the future.
A small number of parishes believe that by not taking part – and encouraging residents not to take part either – they will protect their area from housing development. However, that isn’t the case. If the survey reveals a clear housing need, and a parish don’t wish to get involved, they may be in a position where the housing is built anyway, but without their input.
Understanding the type of housing required in a community makes it much easier for parish councils to support plans that meet that need – and defend against developments that don’t.
The most successful housing schemes across Shropshire are those in which the parish council takes an active interest and involvement, and understands that by taking part, they will have a far greater influence over the type of housing created and how it fits into their community.
For more information on how housing can be created based on the results of a Housing Need Survey, read our housing FAQ for parishes.