We know that across Wiltshire and Swindon that there is still a shortage of housing that meets the needs of local communities. Despite the pandemic there is no sign that house prices or rents are decreasing – rather the reverse. This can mean that young people and key workers such as health workers, carers and teachers find it difficult to find somewhere they can afford to live in our communities. Primary schools, shops and pubs have been closing because families must move away.
There are now ways in which you can help solve this problem. Community-led housing, whereby communities themselves work out where and how they will meet local housing need, is successfully creating new homes up and down the country. So far across the country over 300 communities have built over 1000 homes, with thousands more in the pipeline. In Wiltshire several towns and villages are on their way to building new homes for local people.
Now in Wiltshire and Swindon, Homes of our Own has been established to help local communities build or provide homes themselves. We believe that people should not be forced to leave their communities because housing to meet the changing needs of individuals and families does not exist.
The Wiltshire & Swindon Community led Housing Hub, known as Homes of our Own, exists to:
- provide advice and support to community groups on setting up, engaging with local people and finding and securing the right site;
- bring in the technical expertise required to plan, develop and build homes;
- help a community build directly or with a development partner;
- help access the money required to get a scheme to planning and then build it;
- advise on managing and maintaining the completed homes.
Would you like to learn more about this? If so, we’d welcome you to join us in a special event organised to spread the word about community-led housing, and to hear from a local community who have gone down this path.
There will be explanations of how community-led housing works, a full story of how it’s working elsewhere, and plenty of time for questions and discussion. We look forward to welcoming you to the event!
The event will take place online on Zoom on Thursday 25th February 2021 at 12pm. Get your tickets here.
 House prices in Wiltshire rose by over 5% in the 12 months previous to November 2020 according to Zoopla; rents increased by over 6% for the same period in the SW, according to Homelet.
 Homes of our Own is a partnership between Wiltshire Community Land Trust, Community First Wiltshire & Swindon, Wiltshire Association of Local Council, Wiltshire Council, and Swindon Council.