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CPRE Sussex backs campaign for affordable rural housing

19th March 2024

As homelessness increases and social housing waiting lists rise in Sussex, CPRE Sussex is backing a campaign for affordable rural housing.


Homelessness has increased in the four predominantly rural Sussex districts.

From 2018/19 to 2022/23, the number of homeless people in Chichester, Horsham, Rother and Wealden rose by 8% from 825 to 892.

Social housing waiting lists also grew in five Sussex districts classed as largely, mainly or significantly rural. The number of people on waiting lists in Chichester, Horsham, Lewes, Rother and Wealden rose from 5,141 in 2018 to 6,195 in 2023.

At the same time, affordable home build completions have largely stagnated. In 2021/22, 1,758 affordable homes were completed across the whole of Sussex, compared to a peak of 2,115 in 2014/15.

The figures were revealed as the national CPRE charity launched its campaign to build support for rural affordable housing on Tuesday (March 19).

CPRE Sussex director Paul Steedman said: “These figures paint a stark picture of the need for genuinely affordable housing, which meets local need, in Sussex. The chronic shortage of affordable rural housing is depriving parts of Sussex of skills, economic activity, and crucial public services.

“This campaign will put pressure on the next government to deliver genuinely affordable rural homes. I urge everyone in Sussex to get involved.”

Of the rural areas, Rother had the most people who were homeless in 2022/23 and the most people on social housing waiting lists in 2023 – 278 and 2,159 respectively.

Rother also had the lowest number of social housing completions in 2021/22. Adur had the lowest total number of social housing completions since 1999.

Mid Sussex had the highest number of social housing completions in 2021/22. Brighton & Hove had the highest total number of completions.

Find out more about the affordable rural housing campaign at