If your Neighbourhood Plan is underlining the demand for specific types of housing in your community, consider this: community groups can – and are – building homes themselves, and they are doing it all over the country with fantastic results.
No longer is local house building the preserve of commercial developers or housing associations; in recent years, local people have genuinely come to understand that they can take control of what is built on their doorsteps, and that building homes themselves is not only achievable, but desirable.
It allows communities to make detailed decisions about the specific type of housing to be built, and depending on the form of development they follow, it can bring income into hard pressed communities via rentals, or solve particular local problems, such as smaller units for older people wishing to downsize without leaving their neighbourhoods.
There is even support and funding available to help groups get up and running, check for feasibility and proceed to planning permission. In some cases, groups could benefit from around £50,000, so there’s plenty of assistance on hand for local people who want to address local problems.
It may sound daunting, but in reality, building a small scale housing development is much like any other community endeavour. It starts with a vision; it moves forward with determination, planning and commitment; it is powered by financial support and it results in an achievement to be proud of. Many of the groups currently starting housing projects don’t have a background in housing – they just want to do something positive for the local community. Maybe that describes you too?
If you are part of an existing community group, or if you’re considering forming a new one, contact Locality to talk over the options or arrange to visit another development. Email email@example.com or read details of funding and support.
Applications to the Early Stage Support programme must be made by close of play on Friday 12 August 2016.
Read more about Community Action Suffolk’s Rural Affordable Housing work.