Two community housing schemes have today been agreed by West Devon Borough Council's Hub Committee.

Okehampton Hamlets

The Community Housing Strategy was put in place to support the development of homes available to those people who have a local connection, but the homes are beyond their reach.

The lack of such housing is having a huge impact on the vitality and sustainability of local communities, with many locals having to relocate due to increasing housing costs.

Councillors have agreed to create a fund of £4.3 million by borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board with some internal funding,  to build the first two community housing schemes which will deliver 29 residential homes.

Cllr Debo Sellis, West Devon Borough Council's Lead Member for Homes, said: "I am delighted that the Council is taking direct action to help reduce the housing affordability challenges that the Borough faces."

This represents the first direct delivery of new homes by the Council in a generation and will lead to the reintroduction of some Council-held housing stock.

The construction of the first two community housing projects will start with 12 homes in Brentor and a further 17 in Lamerton, subject to Parish Council Support.

These projects benefit from reduced land value by using exception site planning policy and are being delivered where the community has shown that there is a need for affordable housing and therefore they have the support of the community, Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan. 

The properties will be available as a mix of different affordable options, to ensure that housing is truly affordable to rent or buy for local people. Some will be available  to buy at a discount, some as affordable rented, and some available on the open market to make the projects financially viable. 

Design and planning work is being met through a Government grant of £250,000 paid to West Devon in 2017 to help with the delivery of community housing schemes across the Borough.

Issued: 4 June 2019