Malmesbury housing needs in the spotlight
A special event to throw the spotlight on a whole range of housing needs in the Malmesbury area is being held next Wednesday (October 3).
The event hosted by the Malmesbury Area Board follows an assessment of the area which identified key issues around housing.
Issues included the provision of affordable homes, rural housing, making best use of existing housing stock, fuel poverty, how to prevent homelessness and providing the right accommodation for an aging population This event will provide more information for local people about all these issues and give them the chance to share their views on the future allocation of social housing.
Area board chairman John Thomson said: “At this meeting we will update people on schemes to bring more affordable homes into the area, explain how planning policy will ensure more affordable homes are developed in the future and hear an update from the major social housing provider in the area.
“We also want to gather the views from as many people as possible about how the council should allocate social housing. “We are currently reviewing our housing allocations policy to consider the changes introduced by a new law called the Localism Act and we want local people to help shape any changes that might be made.
“These are really important issues affecting a large number of people in our communities and I would urge them to come to this very important meeting.”
The event will begin with an introduction which sets out the housing profile of Malmesbury and surrounding villages.
There will be a presentation on planning policy and how it affects housing, the findings of the rural need survey and possible land opportunities for future housing.
From next April the Welfare Reform Act will become law and will see key changes to housing benefit.
People who are working age and receiving housing benefit will be asked to contribute to their rent if they are under occupying their homes.
This meeting will explain the changes and highlight the options open to any tenants in that situation.
There will be a presentation from Greensquare, the major provider of social housing in the Malmesbury area.
People at the meeting will then be given the chance to answer questions and give their views on how Wiltshire Council allocates social housing to people on the housing register.
The review began on September 1 and is expected to take around eight to 10 months to complete, this will include a formal three month consultation to be held next year. The event will finish with a presentation on fuel poverty and the help available to people who struggle to afford to keep their homes warm.
Malmesbury Area Board’s Housing Event is being held at Malmesbury Secondary School, from 7-9pm (tea and coffee available from 6.30pm).