A VILLAGE in his own constituency played host to minister for housing Kit Malthouse, when he came to see an example of affordable homes provided by a partnership.

The minister visited a development of six homes in Grateley, on November 23, built in 2009 to provide affordable housing for people living or working in the village.

They are part of close to 500 homes built by HARAH (Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing) since 2005. HARAH is a partnership of councils, housing associations, the national parks and charities in Hampshire. These homes for low cost rent and shared ownership have been provided in 50 villages across the county and provide accommodation for around 2,000 people.

Councillor Caroline Brook, chair of HARAH welcomed the minister. She told him: “Local solutions work. HARAH is a successful model and can continue to boost the number of much needed rural affordable homes; there is an appetite for more from all partners, and support from our local communities.”

After touring the scheme the minister joined representatives from HARAH, Test Valley Borough Council and the parish council for a cup of tea and some cake in the village hall.

Test Valley Borough Council housing chief, Councillor Phil Bundy, said: “Delivering affordable homes in rural areas is absolutely vital if we are to help local villages and their communities to thrive.

"We continue to focus our efforts on ensuring that the supply of new homes reflects the local need, and developments such as this are a shining example of that. Enabling people to live in the right home in the right area for them can truly change lives.”