Council supports rural housing action
West Oxfordshire District Council is showing its support for more rural affordable housing by signing up to a national campaign to halt the decline of rural England.
The National Housing Federation’s ‘Save our Villages’ campaign highlights concerns about lower income earners and young families being priced out of their home villages, as well as the knock-on effect this could have for the financial viability of rural services.
Cllr Verena Hunt, Cabinet Member for Housing said, “In rural areas often only a small number of good quality affordable homes are needed to help families stay living together in the same community. Local businesses and services, such as shops, pubs and village schools, are increasingly coming under threat as regular users are being priced away to cheaper urban areas. Securing more affordable housing has been a priority for West Oxfordshire District Council for many years. Working with housing associations, and communities we have made good headway, each year far exceeding the targets set for affordable new-build homes.”
Warren Finney, South East Lead Manager of the National Housing Federation visited West Oxfordshire and presented the District Council with a ‘Save our Villages’ support certificate and went to see Ben’s Close, a rural housing scheme developed by Sovereign Housing in Woodstock. He said, “We are delighted that West Oxfordshire District Council has signed up to ‘Save our Villages’ campaign. Rural housing is a vital part of ensuring that our villages across Oxfordshire continue to thrive and provide affordable homes for local people.”
Around 760 people are now on a waiting list for an affordable home in rural parts of West Oxfordshire, where market entry sales levels for a two bed house range from £170,000 to £250,000.*
Last year (2010/11) the District Council worked with housing associations to provide 88 new affordable homes in West Oxfordshire. This year, the following, which are a mix of for rent and for sale are being built and some have already been completed:
* Chadlington – 12 homes
* Combe - 8 homes
* Enstone – 5 homes
* Eynsham - 46 homes
* Long Hanborough - 24 homes
* Stanton Harcourt – 16 homes for rent in Black Ditch.
* Stonesfield - 8 homes
* Woodstock – 22 homes
* Wootton – 8 homes
Several of these schemes are being built under the Council’s rural exceptions policy which enables homes to be built specifically for households that have a local connection to the village concerned.
For all schemes applicants must be registered on the Council’s Housing Waiting List. Call 01993 861010 or visit wwww.westoxon.gov.uk/waitinglist
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