Could you help solve the housing crisis?
17 October 2018
With house prices in Shropshire topping eight times the average wage, demand for affordable rented homes has sky-rocketed. The challenge in building more, however, is finding suitable land for development. This is where the Trust’s Managing Director, Wayne Gethings, says creativity and local people could be key.
“It’s time for a new approach,” says Wayne. “So, we’re appealing to local landowners for help. It doesn’t always take acres to build. Every single home counts, and owners of smaller pockets of land selling to us could help us make a huge difference in Oswestry.”
The Trust has successfully developed smaller sites, like at Plas Fynnon in the centre of Oswestry, where three new properties were built for affordable rent. Land at Gobowen Station was used to develop Coldwell Gardens, a mix of one-bed apartments, two-bed bungalows and three-bed houses to meet the specific housing needs of the area.
And a redundant brownfield site at the former Richard Burbidge stair factory now provides 53 family homes. One of these, in Cornovii Gardens, was set aside for Emma and George Davies and their two children Ava and Luca, who moved from Colwyn Bay to be close to Hope House Hospice.
Twelve-year-old Ava has Down’s syndrome and a complex cardiac condition and has been supported by Hope House for seven years. The family say the move has been life-changing as the hospice is now so accessible, rather than a 120-mile round trip.
“When you find yourself in this situation, it is easy to feel isolated,” said mum, Emma. “Hope House is like our family and it is fantastic to now have them just five minutes around the corner, we can’t thank The Wrekin Housing Trust enough.”
Wayne added: “What sets us apart is that we don’t simply build new houses to meet numbers. We keep existing residents and new tenants at the heart of what we do. Each development is carefully planned with the community and people who will live there in mind.”
The Trust hopes to provide more small affordable housing developments in Oswestry and is asking anyone with information on potential building sites to get in touch.
To discuss sale of land for The Wrekin Housing Trust to provide further affordable housing in Oswestry, call Steve Swann on 01952 217016.
Pictured is Emma Davies with her daughter, Ava.