Communities in Chichester District are being encouraged to consider setting up their own affordable housing projects to meet needs following a major funding boost from the Government.
The £1.3 million fund has been made available to Chichester District Council in recognition of the high number of second homes in the district and the effect this has on affordability.
“One of the council’s key priorities is to improve the provision of and access to suitable housing,” says councillor Carol Purnell. “Community-led schemes are an important tool to help achieve this and have many benefits such as creating stronger neighbourhoods, creating permanent affordability and providing greater local accountability.
“Currently, the average house price in the district is more than 13 times the average salary which makes it difficult for local people to remain living where they grew up. This funding is being made available to help people address local housing needs at a local level and provide unique solutions to meet them. The Government’s focus has changed from a ‘top down’ approach to actively encouraging communities to devise their own tailor-made schemes in order to provide genuinely affordable homes.
“We see this funding as a huge opportunity for people to make a lasting difference and support future generations.
“There are many different ways for communities to set up their own housing project. We can provide all the support and guidance they need, it doesn’t have to be demanding, we just need to people to contact us with their ideas as soon as they can. Depending on take-up of this funding, more could become available in future.”
Communities interested in kick-starting their own housing project can access technical help and support from the council’s Housing Delivery team including funds towards start-up costs.