Housing-affordable (1)

Council backs community-led housing schemes

Residents looking for affordable local housing are being urged to consider a new initiative being supported by West Oxfordshire District Council.

Residents looking for affordable local housing are being urged to consider a new initiative being supported by West Oxfordshire District Council.

Community-led Housing schemes are set up and run by a local, independent, not-for-profit organisation which has often been specifically created for the purpose of building affordable homes for the community.

This can be a collection of individuals, a parish or town council, a developer or a registered provider looking to work in partnership with the community initially by providing a site and offering further support as the development progresses.

The organisation will ensure homes for rent, sale or shared ownership will remain affordable for local people now and in the future.

Critically, the community is involved in decisions at every stage of the process from identifying a suitable site and the design process through to how the new homes should be allocated.

The housing is usually developed by, with and for the community and the community group have the opportunity to develop skills and expertise along the way.

Cllr Steve Good, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Finding affordable housing for our residents is one of our top priorities and we are continuously looking for new and innovative ways of reducing the waiting list.

“This scheme is fantastic because it involves the community and potential occupiers right through the development process and beyond.”

Community-led housing is highly flexible depending on the type of scheme required such as co-housing; self-help housing; Community Land Trusts and co-operative and resident-controlled housing.

It is aimed specifically at local residents who may be single parents; the unemployed; ex-service personnel; key workers; young people looking to get on the housing ladder; older people wanting to downsize and groups wanting to renew empty homes.

Funding is currently available via the Community Housing Fund delivered through Homes England, in the form of start-up grants and feasibility work as well as capital (infrastructure, site servicing and development). A variety of other grants and loans may also be applicable.

West Oxfordshire District Council’s Community & Housing Investment Lead Deborah Wyatt has been actively contacting developers, parish councils and housing associations to explore the possibilities of community-led housing further and is keen to hear from individuals looking for advice and information.

Anyone wishing to know more should email her on Deborah.wyatt@publicagroup.uk. 

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

communications@westoxon.gov.uk