Plans to create more affordable living in Pewsey have moved a step forward. Pewsey Community Land Trust sat for its first Annual General Meeting in February 2020, now the team are actively looking for new sites to build up to 26 new homes.
If successful, applications for a refurbishment of an existing building, or building new ones could be in before the year is out.
Acting Chairman, local Architect, Patrick Wilson said:
“Despite the obstacles that remain it is still hoped to start looking for sites and one of the items discussed was the launch of a “Call for Sites” seeking suitable small parcels of land that could be developed as housing for rent.”
The committee also discussed establishing the Pewsey CLT as an organisation that can look to the long-term future for the delivery of low-cost housing for rent. Also, how housing can integrate with other community assets, such as energy networks for electric vehicle charging. But it is not all plain sailing, as uncertainty over how government funding for CLT’s across the country is managed.
“The underlying challenge for all CLTs across the country, will be the development of sufficient asset bases while there is continuing uncertainty in the possibility and level of central government funding for community led housing,” he said.
“The closing of the Community Led Housing Fund at the end of December, despite only 15% of total funds being allocated has left many other CLTs caught in a financial funding trap.”
The progress for CLT’s in Wiltshire has so far been underpinned by Homes of Our Own, a partnership between Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Community Land Trust, Swindon Borough Council and Community First. The new housing hub for Wiltshire and Swindon aims to support local communities to think outside the box and come together to find solutions to local housing need, including affordable housing for families.
Wilton, Colerne and Pewsey, want to design and build properties they can rent out in perpetuity. The ambition for Pewsey is to build or purchase and renovate property, which will then be held in trust for the village of Pewsey.
“The good thing about CLT property that it cannot be sold on, in the same way that Housing Associations or local authorities can.”
Reposted from Wiltshire Gazette and Herald (18th February 2020)