Who we are
Falcon Rural Housing (then known as West Somerset Rural Housing) was created in the very early 1980s in response to a small village school on Exmoor being threatened with closure. The reason that the school was in trouble was due to the falling numbers of children on the school roll.
A few local school Governors and interested individuals from the village and surrounding villages wanted to know why the numbers of children attending the school was dropping year on year and after much investigation, the cause was found to be the high rise in house prices in such a desirable village. Firstly, the high house prices meant that it was unaffordable for local people on relatively low wages to be able to buy a home in the village. Secondly, it was identified that many would-be, privately rented properties were used as holiday homes and holiday lets in the summer season. The effect of this was that the rents were charged at a premium and the ability to secure a home for any more than a six-month tenancy was practically unheard of.
So what was the solution?
Affordable housing was required to enable local families to continue to live in their village.
In 1985, we proudly completed the build of 9 social rented homes (and a village road by-pass!) and housed 9 local families in those houses. As a direct result of these families being permanently housed in the village, the school remained open and, as of today, it still thrives.
Our core purpose was then, as it still is today, to provide truly affordable, rented housing, for local people in housing need. We aim to ensure that local people can afford to live in their villages, despite the high house prices rural living attracts and, in the long term to help villages to continue to flourish.
Our popularity for what we do has grown significantly over the years and we now have almost 300 social rented homes in 42 villages across the rural parts of Somerset and Devon. Everything we build is tailored to the village in which it is located and we pride ourselves on building excellent quality dwellings that people are proud to live in and call their home. We build in small numbers where the homes are needed, not in bulk and ‘just for the sake of it’!
We are a “not for profit” organisation and we are a Registered Social Landlord with Homes England and the Regulator of Social Housing.
The Association is managed by a voluntary Board of Management who also live in the areas in which our houses are found. We also make sure that we have adequate tenant representation within our Board Members.
Our administrative support is carried out by a small, professional, local team based in Wellington, Somerset.
To achieve our aims we always work as closely as possible with local people through appropriate organisations, such as Parish Councils. This is because we fully understand and appreciate that local people are the ones who know the most about the community in which they live and subsequently, what is best for their own community.
Falcon Rural Housing Mission Statement
Falcon Rural Housing Limited (“the Association”) will provide genuinely affordable, good quality rural housing within the counties of Somerset and Devon. It strives to be an ethical organisation working closely with District and Parish Councils to meet proven local housing needs with the support of local communities, whilst delivering tenant services as a priority.