Hebden Bridge Community
Self Builders' Action Group seeks to create affordable housing
Friday, 18 September 2009
Find out more
A group of Hebden Bridge residents in need of affordable housing are in the process of creating an organisation to self-build affordable and sustainable homes in or near to Hebden Bridge.
Group spokesperson Catherine Thompson told the Hebden Bridge Web that, "We all live in or near to Hebden Bridge and because of various reasons, every one of us is in need of an affordable home, for life, to live in. We love the area in which we live. Already, it is a place of strong community, vitality and initiative. So we want to capture this in the design and the feel of the place we wish to succeed in building."
On Saturday, 26th September, representatives from the Community Self Build Agency and Community Finance Solutions are coming to speak to the group at their pre-meeting between 1.30pm and 3.00pm.
This will be followed by a session at 4pm where members of the public are invited to come along and talk with the group about their ideas.
The group is hoping to attract not just those who need housing but also local builders who might wish to be involved in the project. Down the line, there is hope of the scheme involving training for those who want to work in building and sustainable development.
The current group is quite a mix. They live in or near to Hebden Bridge and because of various reasons, every one of them is in need of an affordable home. At present, they either rent from the private sector, kip on friends' sofas, are housed in local authority or housing association accommodation, live in boats or in trailers, or still live with their parents.
As a result of recent legislation (specifically the 2008 Housing Regeneration Act) social housing grant funding has been broadened out, and the new group hopes to be one of the first in the country to take advantage of this. It could well be yet another first for Hebden Bridge and a feather in the cap for Calderdale.
The group does not yet have any land in mind. They would like to approach Calderdale Council to discuss what opportunities may exist for publicly owned land, in or near to Hebden Bridge. Equally, they would interested in being approached by a private landowner, who could land for the project as part of a Community Land Trust intiative.
Community Self Build Agency - aims to "make it possible for men and women from all backgrounds to benefit individually and collectively from being a member of a self build housing group. Whilst participating in the planning, design and building of their own homes they acquire a range of skills and experience. The Agency is particularly interested in opening up opportunities for those with limited income or the unemployed to participate."
Community Finance Solutions - independent research and development unit engaged in promoting and developing integrated solutions for financial and social inclusion, and community asset ownership.