Chance to make a difference during lockdown by tackling Swanage’s housing crisis

Plans to launch a community-led affordable housing scheme in Swanage are being proposed to take advantage of government grants to help address the town’s housing problem.

Villages like Worth Matravers and Corfe Castle in Purbeck have already implemented housing schemes and now Swanage Town Council is backing the formation of a community land trust (CLT) to build affordable homes for people with strong links to Swanage.

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Open meeting for anyone who’s interested

To get the community project off the ground, there’s an open meeting for anyone who’s interested in finding out more, on Wednesday 18th November 2020 on Zoom at 7.30 pm. Anyone with relevant skills to help make this scheme happen, will be particularly welcome.

During normal times, the meeting would have been held in person in a hall, but during the lockdown it will be online. However it does give people staying at home, a chance to get together and volunteer for the good of the wider population.

Community land trusts are set up and run by ordinary people

CLTs are set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes, as well as other assets important to that community. Legally they must be:

  • Owned by the community
  • Run by the community
  • For the benefit of that geographical community
  • Not for personal profit

“A golden opportunity for the community in Swanage”

Chair of the Swanage Community Housing steering group, Robin Sutcliffe said:

“This is a golden opportunity for the community in Swanage to do something about the lack of affordable local housing, which makes it difficult for young people and key workers to live here.

“We are unlikely to have another opportunity to receive the high level of financial support that is currently being offered to get schemes like this off the ground. If this problem of local housing is of concern to you, then please join us at this virtual meeting and help us to do something positive about it.”

Affordable housing in Worth Matravers

A new affordable housing development in Worth Matravers

Affordable housing in Worth Matravers

In Worth Matravers, nine new affordable homes were completed in March 2020. Five are rental properties, while four are for sale, or have been sold to local people at 75 percent of the market value.

The properties that have been sold have a covenant ensuring that any resales are also to local people at 75% of the then current market value.

Affordable housing in Worth Matravers

These homes in Worth Matravers are only available to people with a local connection

Local people on local salaries

The issue of local people on local salaries not being able to afford properties in Swanage and across Purbeck, is not a new one but there is a growing recognition that the area needs to tackle this issue, so that vital jobs like teachers, nurses, care workers and shop assistants can be filled.

The aim is to enable local people who might otherwise have to move away to stay here, while at the same time providing good quality housing that people can actually afford.

On 1st September 2020 there were 534 households on the council housing list waiting for homes to rent in Purbeck and 156 of those were waiting to rent in Swanage.

An interesting and meaningful project

It’s hoped that there will be enough passion for the scheme to make it happen in Swanage, giving those who get involved, an interesting and meaningful project to become involved in.

Anyone who wishes to contribute to this initiative, can join the Zoom meeting on Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 7.30 pm, registering via Eventbrite

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