For many people, Neston is a great place to live, work, learn, grow up and grow old, but not for everyone. Our work with Job Centre Plus, Citizens Advice West Cheshire, West Cheshire Foodbank and ForFutures along with our own programmes with young people has highlighted a problem.
If you are aged 18 to 49 and live alone, there are a number of problems with finding suitable accommodation in the area. There isn't enough one bedroom homes for the demand and those that exist are often too expensive or only available for the over 50's.
Neston residents also receive less housing benefit than most of the rest of Cheshire because of the Housing Benefit Allowance rates set by Government.
This means that many people have to move out of the area to be able to afford to live alone or face the prospect of paying bedroom tax on a home that is too large and private rents that are unaffordable to many on minimum wage, zero hours contracts or are not working.
The Neston Neighbourhood Plan group highlighted these problems a number of years ago and they were highlighted again in both the Economic Development Plan and a more recent Housing Needs Assessment.
Neston Community Youth Centre has been working with the Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring Group and partners to explore solutions to this problem and we are very excited to announce that the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government through the Community Led Homes Start Up Support Programme have granted us funding to work with local people to begin to solve this problem.
Ideally, we are aiming to build a small number of local homes, owned by the community, managed by the community and for the people in the community when they need them.
More information will follow along with a standalone website. In the meantime, please register above to be kept informed of the latest developments.
What is community led housing?
Community led housing is a way that people and communities can come together to solve their own housing challenges and provide high quality and affordable homes. The homes are managed or owned by the community in the way they want.
What is The Start Up Support Programme?
The Community Led Homes Start Up Support Programme aims to help groups of local people to develop their own community led housing solutions. Funded by the Community Housing Fund from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). More information can be found at www.communityledhomes.org.uk/get-funding
We Can Make is a community-led housing initiative in Bristol supporting people to create affordable homes, when and where they need them.
Since November 2016 the Bristol-based organisations Knowle West Media Centre and White Design have been working with residents of the Knowle West community, as well as artists, architects and policy-makers, to try out new ideas for affordable housing and explore the potential of micro-plots.
See more of the incredible work of We Can Make at https://wecanmake.org