Grant available to kick start community led affordable housing schemes
25 Nov 2020
A fund that is available to assist community led affordable housing schemes across the county is reaping real results for local people, and there is still money left in the pot to support similar community projects.
The money has been provided by Northumberland County Council from its Community Housing Fund, which was allocated to the council from Government to help community organisations deliver affordable housing.
Community schemes that have benefited from the fund so far are:
Haltwhistle Partnership was awarded a grant to convert the rear and final part of Hardware House, a Grade II listed building on Main Street into a one bedroomed affordable home for rent.
Embleton Parish Council secured a grant to refurbish The Gate House, an old 2-bedroomed detached property. The property had been vacant for a while and the local councils didn’t want it to be sold as a holiday home, as more affordable rented housing is needed for local people. This property will be managed and rented out by Bernicia at an affordable rent.
The Glendale Gateway Trust secured a grant to assist towards the acquisition and conversion of the former Barclays Bank on Wooler High Street that had been vacant for almost a year. The funding has helped to provide two affordable apartments on the first and second floors while breathing new life into this Grade ll listed, town centre building.
Corbridge Parish Council secured a grant to help acquire three houses and one bungalow on the new Miller Homes development on Milkwell Lane. These will be completed in 2022/23 and let to local people in housing need.
The council secured an allocation of £1.3m from the national fund which is paying for a dedicated community housing officer to provide advice and support. Funding was also provided to set up Communities CAN (North East) Ltd. Members of CCAN provide advice and support to community groups and now cover the North of Tyne area after securing government funding. Together, the council and Communities CAN are working to help those wishing to set up an affordable housing scheme, as well as contributing towards the delivery of affordable housing projects.
The fund can be used for a range of activities including community development, feasibility and design work, construction costs and project management.
Northumberland County Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for Community Services said:
“We know the importance of involving local people in decisions about the type of affordable housing that best suits the needs of their community and the people who live and work there.
“The Community-led housing fund aims to support local people to play a leading role in solving local housing problems and increase the number of long-term affordable homes in their community.
“What has been particularly pleasing to see in Northumberland is that the recent schemes have helped to refurbish and maintain old heritage buildings in rural communities, bringing them back to life so they can help address an important housing need in their local communities.”
Community groups who would like more information about community led housing can visit the council’s web pages and search for Community Led Housing, or contact Linda Lacy, Community Housing Officer on 01670 620497 or email email@example.com