Shoreham land should be used to help young people and working families affected by the housing crisis

Burrscroft in Pond Road, Shoreham. Photo: Google Images
Burrscroft in Pond Road, Shoreham. Photo: Google Images

We have now two parcels of publicly owned land in Shoreham that are up for development – Pond Road and the old Civic Centre in Ham Road.

This is a plea to our local politicians to be brave and bold in their decision making.

| Read more – Vacant Shoreham building to be demolished as joint scheme to transform site begins |

Why not work with the Sussex Community Housing Hub to establish an Adur Community Land Trust?

Community land trusts (CLTs) are not-for-profit, community-based organisations that develop housing and act as long-term stewards, ensuring that it remains genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.

The land owned by Adur District Council and West Sussex County Council could be gifted to the trust to build housing, which could be offered via shared equity, outright sale on the open market, for affordable rental or a combination of the above.

Consider these three things.

Firstly, we have a housing crisis. Nearly a million more young adults are living with their parents than was the case two decades ago as people under 30 find it harder and harder to buy their own homes. The National Housing Federation has published a report saying nearly half of all children in privately rented homes in England are living in poverty because of high rents, despite 70 per cent of their families being in work. Councils have been unable to borrow to build, yet 58,000 council homes in England have been privatised under the Right to Buy scheme in the past six years alone.

Secondly, the Sussex Community Housing Hub is an organisation part-funded by Adur District Council and has been established to provide essential support for communities wishing to pursue successful community led housing projects. Its aim is to increase the supply of community led housing, primarily affordable homes to meet local needs.

Thirdly, and very significantly, the Government is making available £163million across England through the Community Housing Fund. The fund aims to support an increase in homes delivered by the community-led housing sector; that is to provide housing that is affordable at local income levels and remains so in perpetuity.

To me this is perfect common sense. Publicly owned land, used for public benefit, supported by government grants helping young people and working families whose lives are blighted by the housing crisis.

Cllr Debs Stainforth

Labour member for Southlands, Adur District Council,

Eastern Avenue, Shoreham


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