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Needs study is next step to secure Government housing cash

A study of housing need in Eden and closer engagement with communities groups in rural areas are just some of the steps District Councillors agreed last night (Thursday 9 March 2017), as the local authority seeks to secure the second tranche of government funding for community led housing schemes.

In January 2017, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) confirmed that Eden District Council has been awarded £938,640 from the government’s Community Housing Fund (CHF). The money granted from CHF aims to create more housing in areas where the impact of second homes is particularly acute and housing prices outstrip local household incomes.

The money is being awarded to councils in two tranches, once local authorities demonstrate that the funding is being spent in accordance with the CHF's objectives.

Eden District Council’s Deputy Leader and Housing and Health Portfolio Holder, Councillor Lesley Grisedale, said: "We will present a very strong case to DCLG which demonstrates the need for more community led housing projects in Eden’s rural areas, where mainstream developers may choose not to allocate their schemes. The Council is no stranger to supporting community led housing initiatives and provided funding for the Lyvennet Community Land Trust housing scheme at Crosby Ravensworth.

"By commissioning a new housing needs survey we can fully engage with communities to identify the need for housing across Eden District. It is widely recognised that delivering small scale affordable housing schemes in rural locations can be more expensive than on standard large scale sites. We are keen to speak with community groups who are developing their own housing solutions to establish how CHF resources could engage expert advice and support to bring their ideas to fruition through grant or loan assistance. This funding could be used to acquire land or property to progress community housing schemes."

Councils across Cumbria who have successfully applied to the CHF are already planning to work together where possible to achieve the aims of the CHF. This could be through joint commissioning of housing needs studies or engaging expert advice regarding the delivery and financing models for community housing schemes.

For more information visit www.eden.gov.uk or call 01768 817817.