Affordable housing: Support for community groups

By Kevin Black in Community News

Tandridge District Council’s Housing Committee agreed to set up a partnership with seven other Surrey districts and boroughs and Surrey Community Action to support local community groups which want to provide genuinely affordable housing.

The government’s Community Housing Fund is designed to enable local groups play a leading and lasting role in finding solutions to local housing problems, by providing money to communities for support and technical expertise. The funding is not designed to support the actual build costs of any projects. The council has been allocated £29,694.

Community groups, for example neighbourhood forums and parish councils which want to apply for funds must demonstrate the schemes will provide a lasting benefit to the local area to qualify for funding.

A joint Service Level Agreement is currently being drafted between the districts and boroughs and Surrey Community Action (SCA) to deliver this service for the next two years. To run the service, SCA will employ someone to provide support to groups, including procuring the appropriate technical and professional services needed to take sites forward from initial feasibility through the planning process and ultimately to construction eg architects, planning advice, specialist consultants, building contractors etc), as well as advice on development funding.

The Chairman of the Housing Committee, Councillor David Weightman, said “By putting our funding together with other Surrey districts and boroughs, we hope to provide an efficient and hands on service to support local groups which want to provide genuinely affordable homes for their communities.”

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