Launch of plan to build affordable homes to rent in Swanage

Local residents fed up with the lack of reasonably priced housing in Swanage are launching a new charitable trust to build affordable homes to rent in the town.

The new organisation, Swanage Community Housing is calling for the whole of the Swanage community to rally behind its plans for an innovative development of sustainable homes.

Affordable housing at Worth Matravers
Worth Matravers CLT
Affordable housing at Worth Matravers
Worth Matravers CLT

A community-led trust built these affordable homes in Worth Matravers

Proposal will be revealed

There will be an online Zoom launch event at 7 pm to 8.30 pm on Wednesday 10th November 2021 when more about the proposal will be revealed.

The meeting will be chaired by local resident and trustee Rosalind Suttle. She said:

“We have been trying to find secure accommodation for us and our three children for years, so we really do know how important this is and are thrilled to be part of this project.”

Calder Valley CLT housing
Calder Valley CLT
Calder Valley CLT housing
Calder Valley CLT

A successful community-led housing scheme in Calder Valley in Yorkshire

Backed by Swanage Town Council

The trust is being backed by Swanage Town Council, who is offering to provide the land. Dorset Council is also helping out with grant funding and expertise to get the project off the ground.

Chair of Swanage Community Housing, Robin Sutcliffe said:

“Everyone knows that there is a real shortage of affordable rental housing for local families and for key workers in Swanage. We’re excited at the prospect of being able to harness community energy and creativity to address this issue.”

Similar community-led housing organisations across UK

Swanage Community Housing will join more than three hundred similar community-led housing organisations and community land trusts around the country including the successful development of affordable homes in Worth Matravers.

In Corfe Castle, its local community land trust has just applied for planning permission to build 16 affordable homes to rent, alongside four 3-bedroomed houses that will be able to buy at the full market rate.

The proposed housing development is on land to the rear of properties 90 to 102 on West Street in Corfe Castle.

Those joining the Zoom launch event will also get to hear from guest speakers who have already achieved building community-led affordable homes.

They are Andrew Bibby from the Calder Valley Community Land Trust in Yorkshire and Vanessa White a founder member of Powerstock Community Land Trust in West Dorset.

Powerstock CLT housing under construction
Powerstock CLT
Prince of Wales visits Powerstock CLT
Powerstock CLT

Prince Charles opened this affordable housing scheme by Powerstock Community Land Trust in West Dorset

“Can’t afford to live here”

Robin Sutcliffe added:

“Back in 2016 in a survey of Swanage residents, 89 percent agreed that the town needed more affordable housing.

“We all know of someone whose daughter or son, niece or nephew has had to move out of Swanage to find a home, or a care worker or nurse who works for the people of Swanage but can’t afford to live here.”

Join as a trustee

The committee is also looking for local residents who are interested in joining them as trustees of the charity.

Anyone with skills in finance, development, project management, or administration, will be particularly welcome, however the trust says that energy and enthusiasm are as important as skills!

All who support the organisation’s aims will be invited to become members. Membership is £5, and members have a stake and a vote in the organisation’s development.

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