Communities must support local families in housing need … and remain viable
A community group which failed to secure wider support for its affordable homes project is warning that opposition to homes that locals need have consequences. This is after the Headteacher of the local school circulated a letter to parents that it would have to cut one teacher post because local families could no longer live in the area and were moving away. Cornwall Community Land Trust is calling upon local communities to back families in desperate housing need.
Chief Executive, Andrew George, gave an example of one recent case which has caused concern.
“A local community group had been working hard with CCLT to identify a solution to housing the needs of the local people and had identified a site. However, the project was opposed by the parish council at which point the landowner sold the site privately and the opportunity has been lost.
Since then the headteacher of the local school has announced that it will be losing a teacher because local families can no longer afford to live in the community. Although the housing could not be built in time to avert this action, much more could be done to assist the local community if the parish council had engaged constructively with the local community in identifying land suitable to meet the housing needs of the community”.
CCLT works with communities to promote community-led homes (CLH). It helps establish local Housing Working Parties and works closely with the local community to support plans. These may include setting up a local Community Land Trust to ultimately manage the homes. Most importantly CLH schemes are tied down through legal agreements to ensure that homes remain available for local people at an affordable cost in perpetuity.