THE ISSUE of the amount of affordable housing available in the Malvern Hills district will be discussed during three virtual debates with the first one being held today.
The project has been organised by Malvern Hills Community Led Housing which was set up in 2019 by a group of ordinary people whose housing needs are not being met locally by mainstream developers.
Community-led housing is a bottom-up approach to home-building where members take control and ownership of their lives and their futures because they are involved in all stages of the planning and design of their homes.
The schemes are not-for-profit with external support and funding available from housing associations, local authorities or regional and national organisations.
Residents own and manage the community and prices are protected in perpetuity, so future generations will benefit too.
The interest and demand in community-led housing is increasing across the UK and a recent report from the National Community Land Trust Network examines the key role community-led housing can have in the country’s post-lockdown economic and social recovery.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted many flaws in current housing developments including the lack of community spirit and the often deep feelings of isolation and loneliness among both young and old living alone, far from the support of close friends and families.
Group Secretary Jan Dyer said: “A small grant from Homes England has enabled us to establish this project, local councils have given their support and we are already looking at possible sites in the area.
“There is now the opportunity for people to find out more by joining us for a lively Zoom debate on the future of housing across the Malvern Hills District.
“You will meet some of our members, hear our plans and can put forward your views.
“If you are concerned about the new Planning Laws being introduced and want to make sure the District gets the housing it needs, not the housing developers make the most profit from, then join the discussion on one of the three following dates in September to find out how you can help.”
The team currently has five members but the plan is to expand it so Malvern Hills Community Led Housing can meet its objectives quicker by cutting through the red tape of Government policy, funding and planning rules.
The main aim is to build homes to the highest environmental standards incorporating the latest building technologies, and that fulfill the needs of both young and older people.
Anyone with a commitment to make this happen can get involved.
There are a multitude of tasks to tackle which include everything from joining the committee, to admin and research tasks.
The group would particularly welcome input from anyone who has worked in construction, architectural practice and design, planning, or related areas.
Participants do not have to live in one of the eventual houses to be involved – it welcomes anyone who is interested to get in touch to find out more.
“This is a very worthwhile project and elsewhere in the country, from Devon, to Shropshire and Nottinghamshire, other community-led housing initiatives are proving very successful,” added Jan.
Today’s meeting is at 3pm with the next one at the same time on Sunday, September 20 and then on Tuesday, September 22, at 7pm.
Visit the links below to register for the chats and email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information