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A new advice hub will help communities across Wiltshire take an active role in building affordable homes, to help meet the housing need on their doorstep.

The Wiltshire and Swindon Community Led Housing Hub is being launched to provide advice and support to resident groups wanting to get involved in housing schemes for their area.

The groups will decide what affordable homes are needed in their area to help their communities to thrive. These homes can be owned and managed by local people.

The hub will be a source of advice. It will:

  • Help community groups form and decide what they want to achieve and how they are going to do it
    Present information to community groups
  • Attend regular meetings with community groups and partners to provide advice and information, update on the project and gather information and experience
  • Help community groups to identify housing need in their local area
  • Help to build links with registered providers of affordable housing and Wiltshire Council as well as other relevant parties
  • Support community groups to identify and bid for funding for their projects
    Promote sites to meet local housing need

The hub will be launched at the Homes of Our Own launch event from 6pm on 14 November at County Hall, Trowbridge.

Hub partners Wiltshire Council, Community First, Wiltshire Community Land Trust (CLT) and Swindon Borough Council will be attending. As well as the partner organisations there will be community groups, volunteers and other professionals involved in community led housing.

Councillor Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: ‘Community-led housing is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving housing needs where they live.

‘It is important we have genuinely affordable homes so people can afford to live where they grew up or would like to live for work. I welcome this new initiative, which will play a significant part in getting the housing balance right in our communities.’

Lyn Gibson, Chief Executive of Community First, said: ‘Community First is very pleased to be working in partnership with CLT, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council to support and develop community led housing. Together as a partnership we can do more to be the catalyst for the development of housing locally, which is identified and led by the people that live there. In that way communities will continue to thrive, with a wide age range within the population to support each other and sustain local services such as schools, shops and pubs.’

Trevor Cherrett, Chair, Wiltshire Community Land Trust, said: ‘The opportunity for local communities themselves to plan, build and own homes to meet their own needs is a great thing, and something the Wiltshire Community Land Trust has been pursuing for several years now. We are delighted to help launch Homes of Our Own in partnership with Wiltshire Community First, Wiltshire Council and the Borough of Swindon. This project builds on the efforts and experience we have gained in establishing community-led housing schemes across the county, with a view to making such schemes part of the mainstream of delivering homes in a locally controlled and sustainable way.’

You can find out more detail by visiting the website www.wiltshire.gov.uk/housing-community-fund or emailing communityledhousing@wiltshire.gov.uk

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