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Council initiative supports communities

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COMMUNITIES in Copeland are being supported to address their own housing needs thanks to a new project.

Copeland Council has joined forces with ACTion With Communities in Cumbria for the new Community-Led Housing Initiative, that will assist communities to identify, create and manage housing in their local areas on a not-for-profit basis.

The Council has attracted £193,768 funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government to co-deliver the project as an area where the high number of second-home ownership is affecting housing supply. Those assisted into development and management by a member of ACT’s specialist team could include community groups, trusts, town or parish councils.

Under the scheme, the community group would be encouraged to take a long-term formal role in ownership, management and stewardship of the homes, and be integrally involved in the decision-making process.

The options are wide-ranging and can include community-owned housing, cooperative and tenant controlled housing, individual self-build or projects managed by providers on behalf of community groups. Benefits for those who become involved in the process can include start-up grants and funding towards feasibility studies, surveys, planning permission, in addition to capital for schemes themselves.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “We already work with ACT on many of our regeneration initiatives and community development projects, and we are delighted to be working with them again on this exciting project.

“This scheme is all about the creating homes for the community that are managed by the community. There are already a number of very successful examples of this in other parts of Cumbria, and I look forward to seeing many more come forward in Copeland.”

A launch event for individuals and community groups who wish to learn more about the scheme takes place on Thursday, October 19, from 10am to 3pm. It includes guest speakers, a Q&A session and time for networking.

Booking is essential by contacting Amanda Starr on Amanda.starr@copeland.gov.uk or 01946 598427 by October 16. The venue will be confirmed on booking.

Published: 29 September 2017 - 1:58pm