The lack of affordable homes is a serious problem for people living in the rural areas of Wiltshire & Swindon. With the downturn in the economy and a change of central government focus rural sites are not progressing in the same way. This not only affects the economic but the social strength of rural communities, where families cannot support each other in the same village.
These statistics illustrate the problem.
'Right to buy' by council house tenants has removed nearly 16,000 homes available to rent since 1991, most of these have not been replaced.
It has been calculated that over 20,000 new homes a year are necessary in the South West to meet housing needs including 6-10,000 affordable homes for people unable to buy or rent on the open market.
At this time the average cost of a home in Wiltshire will require a mortgage of over 10 times the average household income.
Over the last seven years Community First has successfully worked in collaboration with the local authorities, registered social landlords (housing associations), the Wiltshire Association of Local Councils and other stakeholders, to deliver affordable housing in the parishes of Wiltshire and Swindon.
The focus for the future will be Community First acting as consultant with local communities, land owners and developers
- To establish specific need in the parishes by carrying out housing needs surveys
- Assisting with consultation in parishes and market towns
- Giving practical advice and guidance as the 'honest broker' to facilitate services between the local communities and other parties
- Help in identifying suitable housing sites
- Break down the barriers to delivery
- Championing new ideas and exploring new ways of working
Please be aware that there are a number of Rural Housing Enablers working in the South West. Their contact details are below.
Exmoor and North Devon - Colin Savage CBSavage@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk
Devon - firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Felix Marsh - email@example.com
Gloucester - Martin Hutchings firstname.lastname@example.org
West Dorset District Council - Rob Asprey email@example.com
North Dorset District Council - Jo Rickman JRickman@north-dorset.gov.uk