CLT to lead support for community-led housing locally

We are delighted to announce that £20,000 from the government’s Community Housing Fund is being made available to support community-led housing in Calderdale. Community-led housing (CLH, the new buzzword) means everything from the sort of bottom-up housing initiatives which the CLT has been doing to co-housing schemes and housing co-ops. The idea is to tap into local energy and creativity as a way of helping overcome the housing crisis.

Even better news is that the CLT will be the agency charged with the role of using the money effectively. We expect the grant to come through in time for us to launch this project in March this year. Our thanks to Calderdale’s housing officers, with whom we have been working on this initiative.

Further planning delay for Hebden Bridge development

We heard last week that there has been yet another delay in progressing our planning application for the twenty affordable homes at High St, Hebden Bridge. We are now told that the planning committee will take place on Tues Feb 5th.  We understand that other people’s outstanding planning applications have also been postponed from Jan to Feb, so at least it’s nothing personal!

The delay is frustrating, but at least the CLT has been able to progress other things during this period of enforced delay.

Walsden share issue reaches target

We mentioned in our last newsletter that we were informally launching a ‘pioneer’ community share issue for investment in the Walsden development (our first development, for six independent living bungalows).  We are pleased to announce that we have successfully met the £50,000 target we set (in fact, we have slightly exceeded this figure).  Our thanks to investors, and also to to our almshouse charity partner John Eastwood Homes, who will also be investors in the development.

We expect to sign the contract for the build with the contractor very shortly.

Hebden Bridge Signal Box

Network Rail have finally responded, and have offered us the chance for a surveyor to inspect the fabric of the building. Our chair (and chartered surveyor!) Simon Brearley will be on the case soon…

If you are interested in the community-led initiative to protect Hebden Bridge’s heritage (Grade II listed) signal box, feel free to attend the next meeting of the newly established Hebden Bridge Signal Box Preservation Group.  It’s Sunday 20th Jan at 4pm at 11 The Woodlands, Palace House Rd, HB.  Email mailto:hebdenbridge.signalbox.group@gmail.com to join their mailing list.

CLT trustees update

The CLT trustees are continuing to meet every month, and we will also be holding our annual ‘awayday’ strategy session at the end of the month. We welcome Kala Wild and John Berry, both coopted on to the board to help strengthen our governance. Kala is born and bred in the Calder Valley, has a long background in the voluntary sector locally and is now working on an initiative (just over in Lancashire) providing safe housing for women.  John has a long history of involvement with co-operative housing ventures.

Other community housing news

Congratulations to Friends of Dorothy, the lesbian housing group based in Todmorden, who are now constituted and about to hold their launch event. They can be reached on calderdalefriendsofdorothy@gmail.com.

We have also been advised of potential vacancies for residents at a housing co-operative in Hebden Bridge. Contact us if you are interested, and we will forward on your email to the people involved.