North Norfolk District Council has agreed a loan to the sum of £192,675 to Homes for Wells, to enable them to purchase four affordable homes that are being sold by Flagship housing association in Wells, which they will let to key workers.
This is an important step towards fulfilling the Council’s Corporate Plan objective to support projects that increase the supply of local homes for local needs.
The purchase of the homes will be part supported by the loan and part funded by the group using donations, reserves and a grant from the Council’s Community Housing Fund (CHF). Without the loan, it would only be possible for the group to purchase two homes.
Cllr Greg Hayman, NNDC’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Benefits said: “We are committed to ensuring that homes are available locally for affordable rents. Homes for Wells have a bold plan to provide local homes for rent, which had been former public sector housing. They will keep them on those terms, allowing them to be rented to people with local need but who might otherwise find it difficult to meet the high cost of rental in areas like Wells. We think that this project is a perfect fit for our aspiration to provide homes that people can afford.”
David Fennell, Chair of Homes for Wells, added: "We are very grateful to NNDC for their tremendous help, which will make our latest acquisitions possible. We will be able to refurbish and offer three two-bed and one one-bed homes, very near to the centre of Wells. They will be ideal for key workers, who will occupy them throughout the year, keeping Wells functioning in the high season and alive in the low season.
"A recent survey indicates that holiday lets and second homes now exceed 40% of the dwellings in Wells, more than doubling in the past ten years. The need for affordable homes is greater than ever. Homes for Wells is very fortunate to have excellent, sustaining support from NNDC.
“We look forward to our new tenants moving in during April.”
Homes for Wells, a community-led housing group, operates its own waiting list, which gives priority to those who work in a very wide range of jobs essential to the local community, from NHS workers to teachers to local fishermen. They have also secured a grant from Holkham Charitable Foundation to help meet the cost of refurbishment works to the properties
The purchase in 2013 of the Victorian building which was Wells first school and is previously known as The Field Study Centre is a fantastic achievement for Homes for Wells.
Work to create 10 delightful units within this beautiful building was completed in January 2015. The Caretakers situated at the back at The Old School was renovated and completed in March 2015.