Wychavon District Council has secured government funding that will help encourage community led housing in the district and deliver more affordable homes.
Community Led Housing (CLH) encourages communities to get involved with and be at the heart of schemes that will help deliver affordable housing to meet the needs of people who live and work locally,
The council has pledged its support to CLH after securing an allocation of £252,653 from a national £60 million fund.
Examples of Community Led Housing schemes would include developing innovative models of affordable housing such as setting up a Community Land Trust, groups getting together to build their own homes or having custom-built homes, or bringing empty properties back into use and then selling or renting the properties at a price in line with local wages.
The CLH fund pays for a dedicated officer to provide advice and support to those interested in setting up a scheme, and the funding can be used to contribute towards the overall delivery of affordable housing projects. This could include a range of activities such as:
- conducting a housing needs survey;
- making a contribution towards a land purchase for the delivery of a community-led housing scheme;
- making a contribution to planning application fees or architects’ costs;
- skills training as part of a scheme – give unemployed or young people the chance to develop their skills in construction, refurbishment or property management; or
- community engagement activities such as group consultation events, workshops and publicity.
Councillor Richard Morris, portfolio holder for housing at Wychavon District Council, said: “With average house prices always on the increase, we recognise that the possibility of home ownership is getting further away for many people. This is why we think it’s right to support an initiative like Community Led Housing, which aims to help deliver affordable housing that will remain affordable forever.
“We know the importance of involving local people in decisions about what type of affordable housing best suits the needs of their community and the people who live and work there, as well as the need to support CLH schemes through the process of delivering high quality affordable housing.
“We have secured this government funding to help financially support CLH groups that might have a viable plan to increase the number of long-term affordable housing properties in their community.”
Community groups interested in Community Led Housing – whether you have a scheme in mind or you just want some more information – can contact Kim Barton, Wychavon’s Community Led Housing Enabler, on 01386 565252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about Community Led Housing is also available online at www.wychavon.gov.uk/community-led-housing-fund.