The Rural Housing Alliance is made up of housing association Members who are supported by the Rural Services Network, in collaboration with the National Housing Federation.

Key individuals from the Rural Housing Alliance include:

Ursula Bennion, Chairman, Rural Housing Alliance
Ursula is the Chair of the Rural Housing Alliance, helping to champion the important role of rural affordable housing in the UK. Much of Ursula’s work over her career has been within a rural context and she is experienced in dealing with the complexities of delivering new homes in villages, both small and larger scale. Ursula joined Trent & Dove Housing in July 2015 as Chief Executive. Prior to joining Trent & Dove, Ursula worked at Housing Plus for 9 years, leading on development and new business across Staffordshire.

Angela Gascoigne, Vice-Chairman, Rural Housing Alliance
Angela is CEO of SHAL, a community housing association based in Bridgwater, Somerset. She has worked in the housing sector since 1981 in local authorities and housing associations across England and Wales and as an independent consultant. She has held  several NED positions and was Chair of Llamau, the leading Welsh homelessness charity working with young people during a period of significant change. She is currently Chair of Somerset Early Help Strategic Commissioning Board.

Maureen Margrie, Vice-Chairman, Rural Housing Alliance
Maureen is Chief Executive of Cirencester Housing, a small charitable housing provider working to provide affordable homes in Cirencester and the surrounding area since 1949. Being brought up on a farm in Iowa USA and living in rural Herefordshire, Maureen has first hand experience of the benefits and challenges of rural housing. She is currently an NED and Vice-Chair of the Smallwood Trust which has been helping women overcome the financial difficulties and improve social and emotional wellbeing for a 130 years.

Andy DeanAndy Dean, Administrator, the Rural Housing Alliance
Andy provides secretariat services to the Rural Housing Alliance on behalf of its partnership with the Rural Services Network where he is Assistant Director, which involves leading on housing issues.


Monica BurnsMonica Burns, Rural Lead, the National Housing Federation
Monica is External Affairs Manager (North East) for the National Housing Federation and in addition has the specific lead interest for rural housing issues.  The National Housing Federation, is the primary voice of affordable housing in England, with 440 of its Members owning around 750,000 homes in villages.


Another supporter of affordable rural homes is HRH The Princess Royal, who has helped the Rural Housing Alliance raise awareness of the need for village homes that benefit local people by speaking at and attending a range of events.  To find out more, download HRH The Princess Royal’s message in support of the Rural Housing Alliance.