Delivering housing for local people
The Rural Housing Project was recently recognised by Exmoor National Park Authority as one of a number of organisations making a significant contribution to delivering housing for local people in Exmoor National Park. Along with housing association and Parish Council partners, the Project has helped over 60 households to remain living and working locally, and has plans to help many more.
“We are really pleased with the recognition of the progress that has been made over the past few years,” says Colin Savage, Rural Housing Enabler, “but there is much more to be done. The surveys we have carried out suggest that the housing that has been built meets about half the identified need within the National Park”. The affordable housing to meet local needs which has been built includes schemes by housing associations in Lynton, Exford, Wheddon Cross and Dulverton. In Porlock 15 new homes are currently being built for local people, due for occupation early in 2013.
In addition, private individuals, unable to afford housing on the open market, have been supported in building their own affordable homes, or in bringing redundant buildings back into uses as houses.
“There are more such opportunities around, and we can help people get the home they need, but to do that we need to be in touch with them. Many don’t put their names on the housing register as they are convinced they won’t ever get a home. In the first instance they should contact us at the Rural Housing Project, and we can discuss what it is they want to achieve, whether it be building their own eco-home, or getting a good quality home to rent from a housing association. We could help them find a site, get on the Register, or help them through the Housing Association allocations process.”
The Rural Housing Project has details of many people who have expressed an interest in the new Porlock scheme, but wants to hear from others who have a strong connection with the village or the parishes around it.
“As well as helping with affordable housing for local people, we are becoming increasingly aware of a need for other housing. People have told us they want to downsize, either from affordable housing or from owner occupied, but cannot find anything suitable. If others are finding similar or other housing difficulties within the National Park or adjoining rural areas, we would really like to hear about them as we may be able to help.”
Anyone needing housing in the Exmoor National Park or adjoining rural parts of West Somerset and North Devon, should contact Colin Savage or Diane Blackman at the Rural Housing Project, on 01398 322249/322245 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 10 July 2012
Contact the press office:Clare O-Connor
T: 01398 322244