Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith met with Community Land Trusts and the South Downs National Park to discuss their projects delivering genuinely affordable local housing for local people.
The Chairmen and Treasurers from the South Downs-based Community Land Trusts met in Pulborough to share ideas for how community-owned housing is possible with the right support in place. The projects in Angmering, Arundel, Pulborough, Slindon and Aldingbourne, Barnham and Eastergate have all been set up to build homes that will stay in the community in the long-term for the benefit of those who live locally. Their projects include a mix of affordable rental homes and shared ownership properties.
The meeting was supported by The South Downs National Park Authority and Action In Rural Sussex who have helped to bring 30 houses into community ownership so far, and they welcome more projects coming online.
The MP is supportive of the creation of Community Land Trusts, especially in rural areas where new houses are amongst some of the most expensive in the country. He has long-held views that the Trusts should be an integral part of the local planning process. At the meeting, Andrew was keen to understand what the challenges are to delivery and has offered his support to take those messages to Government.
Action in Rural Sussex have been providing expert advice and support to the West Sussex Trusts as part of the Community Led Housing strategy.
Tom Warder, Community Led Housing Manager for AiRS said:
“It was great to have the opportunity to have a proper discussion with Andrew about the exciting community led housing projects underway by the South Downs CLTs and to draw his attention to some of the real challenges they face. His support for a renewal of the Community Housing Fund is a key part of this, which would allow CLTs the funds they need to make these innovative projects happen. Community-led housing involves local people, such as those representing these CLTs, playing a leading and lasting role in solving housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities.”
The MP for Arundel and South Downs confirmed it was a productive meeting, with very useful feedback and ideas which he will be taking up with Ministers.