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Future support for community-led housing solutions

Issued 29 July 2016

Across the country celebrations have been taking place as part of Rural Housing Week, to celebrate and promote community solutions to housing issues. ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is taking this opportunity to promote the development of a new service to support communities in the future.

Lorrainne Smyth, Chief Executive of ACT said: “Local affordable housing is a significant issue in Cumbria with community groups, Housing Associations, Parish and Town Councils, and Districts Councils all playing a part. We know that access to suitable affordable housing is a major challenge for many Cumbrian communities. In the past, communities were able to access the specialist expertise of Cumbria Rural Housing Trust in developing local solutions.  With the closure of the Trust earlier this year that advice is no longer available.

 “ACT is developing a new service so that communities across Cumbria will be able to get the help that they need. Communities often play a role in assessing local housing need, and then forming a partnership to meet that need. We will support communities to undertake Housing needs surveys and then to work with housing providers on the challenging journey to meet that need. We will also work with the statutory and third sector housing providers to understand and interpret the needs across Cumbria.”

John Clasper, Chief Executive of Eden Housing Association, said: “Ensuring our communities are great places to live, supporting our current residents, and developing new homes to meet local need is what we are about. We valued the work of Cumbria Rural Housing Trust and are pleased to see ACT pick up this much needed support service. A key need is to evidence and promote the need for affordable local housing. We look forward to working with ACT on this”

David Orr, Chief Executive of the Housing Federation, working with Housing Associations across the country said: “Housing Associations provide a place to live for local people who would otherwise be completely priced out, enabling them to live in the same place as their friends and family.

“I’ve been to many new developments in villages which have enhanced the aesthetics of the village – but even more importantly have enhanced the economic potential, and the ability of young people to live where they grew up and raise families of their own.

 “I’m delighted that this year’s Rural Housing Week is shining a spotlight on the innovation of housing associations and their creative responses to tackling the housing crisis in our rural areas.” 

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