Helping Rural Communities

North Devon Homes is proud to support our local communities in the North Devon area. Rural Housing Week from 1st-5th July focuses on the impact that the lack of housing in rural areas can have on communities and how Housing Associations, like us, are tackling the issue.

As a very rural area a lot of our developments and homes fall into the rural category. We are able to highlight a number of case studies at the end of this article where we have developed new housing in our local communities that may be struggling for various reasons in providing housing to meet a variety of local needs.

As an organisation we are doing more than just building homes in our rural areas. We work closely with North Devon Council to work through strategic issues such local planning constraints and local needs, providing neighbourhood services to meet our tenants needs while enabling new housing where new homes are needed and where development is possible. Working together in a strong partnership means we can tackle more of the local housing issues, making better use of our available resources concentrating on what really matters; the opportunity and the people. 

As well as building ourselves we work to negotiate with private developers building market sales schemes in rural areas to purchase Section 106 affordable homes that are for rent and for shared ownership sale. These homes are ones where the council have placed certain restrictions on the housing association to sell or rent to local residents. This limits second home owners and makes sure local people are able to have access to afford homes in their local area.

We have Neighbourhoods Officers who visit residents in rural areas who live in our homes, both to check on tenancies and make sure they are happy in their homes and communities. We also have a team of Youth & Community Workers and Independent Living Support Officers who all work closely with customers across North Devon focussing on the support they need depending on the areas they live. We want to make sure we are there for the community as well as providing affordable homes to live in.  We want to continue to investment in communities where people want to live.

As well as all this, our Regeneration and Development team are working with newly established Community Land Trusts in our area. By working closely with these communities we can help provide more homes where they are needed as well as help to highlight the need of more than just homes in the area such as food growing, community groups, shops and other amenities. By helping the community improve their own neighbourhoods we make sure the families in our homes have better lives in these rural communities.

You can read more about Community Land Trusts here: http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/what-is-a-clt/about-clts

We don’t just build affordable rental homes in area, we make sure each new development has a mixture of affordable homes to rent and offer shared ownership opportunities for local people wanting to get onto the property ladder. We also work with communities to provide commercial opportunities in the area too. Here are a few examples of the developments we’ve worked on in the last few years:

Broadmead Court, Lynton

Lynton

Broadmead Court in Lynton comprised of demolition of two dated commercial units and an existing under used car park area to provide a successful development of two commercial units and four affordable units for local people.

The Orchards, Lovacott

The OrchardsThe Orchards

The Orchards in Lovacott consisted of seven Woolway type pre-reinforced concrete family homes all were in serious need of updating to meet with the government’s Decent Homes Standard. After receiving planning permission work began to demolish the old run down homes and work began to build nine brand new detached and semi detached 2 and 3 bedroom affordable homes. All residents who took these homes had local connections to the area.

Tarka Way, Braunton

Tarka Way

In Braunton at Tarka Way we successfully acquired four semi-detached two bedroom homes from local developer Pearce Construction Two homes were put up for affordable rental and two others were added to the Shared Ownership market providing local people the chance to get on the housing market. This is a testimonial from one of the residents of the Shared Ownership properties:

“The ability to buy a home in my local area had a major impact on my life, as I am able to stay in the community that I grew up and not have to move away to an area that I am unfamiliar with.  It also means my daily life is able to continue as normal with all my activities. Being close to family and friends was one of the main reasons that I was so happy to be able to buy here.  The ability to stay near the people that I love and care for has made a big impact on how I feel moving to my new property. The quality of my new home meets with all my expectations and I a good size for a new build property and come with all the latest features and amenities.”

Ocean Rise - Croyde

We purchased five properties at Bay View, Croyde both rented homes and a shared ownership home from developer Pearce Construction. To illustrate the demand in this area we had over ten applicants for the one shared ownership property.

Marine Parade, Instow

We are delighted to be working closely with Chichester Homes to acquire a mixture of shared ownership and social rented homes to be built in Instow. A pictureseque village, on the estuary near to Barnstaple. Works are now in progress on the site due for completion in the spring of 2020.