09 May 2018

Dover District Council announces Community-led Housing and Self Build Conference and community grants

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Dover District Council announces Community-led Housing and Self Build Conference and community grants

Dover District Council is hosting a Community-led Housing and Self Build Conference on 28 June at Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent, a free event for both delegates and exhibitors.

With over 150 people on its Custom and Self Build Register, Dover District Council is looking for sector professionals and community groups who would like to exhibit or attend, to help promote and grow Custom and Self Build locally.

The event is a first for Dover District Council, and aims to provide information for the community, both those who want to build and also newcomers interested in finding out more about the Right to Build and what the registers can deliver locally.

The council is expecting community groups, land owners, developers, consultants and community housing and self build experts to be in attendance, including the Right to Build Task Force. During the afternoon there will be workshops, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities.

The conference runs from 1.30-5pm, 28 June at Innovation House, Discovery Park, Sandwich, and is free to attend, but you must book in advance.

Community housing grants

As further evidence of Dover District Council’s commitment to new routes to housing, it’s also announced new Community Housing Grants to support the delivery of community-led housing schemes in the area.

DDC’s Community Housing Grants Scheme has a grant pot of £50k per annum for the next two years, funded by Central Government via the Community Housing Fund.

There are two levels of funding for different stages of a project, and groups are eligible to apply for one per year:

  • Up to £3k to assist in the early stages of a project – for groups to run consultation events, attend training, engage with consultants, identify a site, evidence housing need and demand.
  • Up to £10k for projects at a more advanced stage – for assistance with initiation costs such as surveys, feasibility studies, planning advice.

The funding is available to support community-led affordable housing developments that provide a long-term benefit to the community. Dover District Council is one of 150 councils to have been awarded funding via the Government’s Community Housing Fund, for areas affected by high-levels of second home ownership. The funding is intended to help tackle this issue of affordability, putting communities at the heart of delivery new homes.

Community Development Officers will be on hand at the conference to assist with any community groups interested in applying for a grant.

Cllr James Back, DDC Cabinet Member for Built Environment, said: “We are delighted to be able to facilitate this conference. The event aims to increase awareness of community-led housing and Self-build, to increase knowledge and skills among our communities, to encourage local community led solutions to local housing needs, and to bring together communities, professionals, contractors and suppliers to deliver the homes.

“We are keen to ensure that any communities who are interested in delivering homes in the area have the knowledge they need to make this a reality, and we continue to develop housing options for the future of the district.”

To sign up to your Right to Build visit NaCSBA’s Right to Build Portal, which links people with their local registers.

Credit: Dover by Dover City Council

Editor’s comment

It’s fantastic that Dover District Council is innovating with its own conference – there’s so much that can be achieved with Custom Build and community-led housing, but it needs local will and support to help it happen. This event, and the grants, are a great starting point for turning local schemes into reality.

 

 

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