New Housing Opportunities Available
Although the MACKPlan questionnaire sent out last year included a survey of local housing need, the Borough Council has now received funding to carry out a separate survey. A copy of their press release is set out below, where you will find a link to take part in the survey, if you wish.

To give this new survey the widest coverage we can, their press release is being sent to subscribers to both MACKPlan and Chillaton village newsletters, so apologies if you get this information twice.

West Devon Borough Council is asking people who are looking for affordable or more suitable accommodation to complete a short questionnaire helping them to understand the housing need within the local area. 

Many people report that they cannot afford to buy, or rent, a home in the place where they have a personal connection.  This could be the place where they grew up, or perhaps where their extended family live, or even where they work, due to the high cost of housing. 

In West Devon, it is not uncommon for average house prices in some communities to be up to 15 times average incomes and it is recognised that the lack of suitable homes for local families has had a major impact on the energy and sustainability of local communities.  This is where the Community Housing Strategy can help.

The Community Housing Strategy, awarded West Devon Borough Council £250,000 to help meet the housing needs of local residents looking to buy, or rent homes. 

The Council would like to invite residents who cannot find affordable or appropriate housing within their local village or town, to complete a short questionnaire telling them about the housing need in their area.  This survey will help the Council to understand which communities are interested in buying or renting community housing, which could then be targeted for future project development.  

West Devon Borough Council will use these survey results to target key need areas and actively support community housing groups, both financially and with development resources, to progress the development of high quality homes, working in close collaboration with community groups.   

This process will involve a further, and more comprehensive full housing needs survey, discussions with local Parish Councils and community groups to discuss suitable site selection, before projects can be designed, progressed through the planning process and implemented.  These homes will then be available to residents with local connections, where the cost of market housing is currently beyond their reach.

 West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Jeff Moody, said: “It’s fantastic news that we are able to start addressing the housing needs of the Borough’s residents through this new government funding.  It is crucial that we help families to live in the communities where they have friends and family, and that we stop them from being forced to live elsewhere just because they have a lower income.

“I would like residents who are not already on the housing ladder to take a few minutes to complete our survey.  This will let us know exactly where the issues are within the Borough, so we can use the government money to really address the areas of greatest need.

“When we have the information from this first step survey, we will have a better understanding of where the problem areas are so that we can work with local community groups to see how we can support them to get local housing projects off the ground.

Supporting the development of this strategy is the Devon Rural Housing Partnership, who said: “The Devon Rural Housing Partnership is pleased to be working with West Devon Borough Council on this high level housing survey. It is important that we identify where appropriate housing is needed in order to prioritise resources on the right communities.”

The survey is now open until Tuesday 3 April at 5 p.m.  To share your views on local housing needs, please complete this link:  A paper version of this survey, is available by contacting the Devon Rural Housing Team on 01392 248919.
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