Housing Day: Right Home, Right Place
As part of this year’s Housing Day today (Wednesday 7 October 2020) we take a closer look at how Shropshire Council and its partners are working with local communities to ensure we provide the right homes in the right place.
Shropshire is a wonderful place to live and work, but with the widening gap between the average salary and the average house price, many local people and young professionals are leaving the area for more affordable housing.
When people move away from towns and villages, it has a knock on effect on the services available; pubs and schools close, bus services are reduced, and local businesses can suffer.
Without finding out about people’s housing needs, we have no way to understand whether there’s enough of the right properties in a parish for those who need them – whether it’s a single mother living with parents, an older person looking for easier mobility, an individual who can’t get on the property ladder, or a young family who needs more space.
Right Home, Right Place is a council-led initiative to help identify housing needs across Shropshire. The scheme exists to better understand those needs and help to ensure that everyone in the county has access to a safe, secure and affordable home that meets their needs.
We do this by running housing needs surveys in every parish throughout the year, and the data we collect is then sent to parish councils to incorporate into their local plans.
Several highly successful housing schemes have been created as a result of running these surveys. They include:
- St Martins community-led housing scheme, near Oswestry: Bower Farm in St Martins was the result of a collaboration between the council’s affordable housing team, St Martins Parish Council, The Wrekin Housing Group, and the residents of St Martins village. The community-led housing scheme led to the development of 55 two and three-bedroom affordable homes, as well as one and two-bedroom bungalows, in just over four years; all of which were quickly occupied. You can find out more about the scheme here: https://www.righthomerightplace.co.uk/building-rural-communities-for-the-future/
- Prees community-led housing scheme, near Whitchurch: The housing survey undertaken in Prees in 2018 identified the need for new affordable housing in the parish. This resulted in the parish council and Shropshire Council working together with The Wrekin House Trust and the wider community to create much-needed high quality new homes, which will benefit the community of Prees for years to come. You can find out more about the scheme here. https://www.righthomerightplace.co.uk/prees-parish-lays-foundations-for-new-community-led-housing-scheme/
- Callaughtons Ash Housing Scheme, Much Wenlock: These innovative new homes, built as part of the Callaughtons Ash Housing scheme, are amongst the first in the UK to be built to standards that provide super-efficient homes for local people. Triple glazing, insulation that effectively seals the house, energy efficient boilers, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems and thermally modified external cladding means that the predicted spend on heating and hot water is around £90 a year for a 3-bedroom house. You can find out more about the scheme here:https://www.righthomerightplace.co.uk/much-wenlock-family-thrilled-with-new-passivhaus-home/
Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and strategic planning, said:
“Providing affordable housing for local people with specific housing needs is a crucial part of maintaining vibrant, active and thriving communities in the towns and villages throughout Shropshire.
“To celebrate Housing Day, we wanted to showcase the fantastic work being undertaken in our rural communities, through our Right Home, Right Place initiative.
“In rural parts of the county, providing affordable homes that enable local people to stay in the area is especially important – not just for the survival of these communities, but to ensure they continue to benefit from the services they rely on.
“By working closely with our local communities we can ensure that everyone in the county has access to a safe, secure and affordable home that meets their needs.”
To find out more about our Right Home, Right Place initiative, visit https://www.righthomerightplace.co.uk/
You can follow @shropcouncil and @housingday on twitter throughout Housing Day, hashtag #HousingDay.