Eastbourne Borough Council has acquired eight one-bedroom flats in the town for people who were previously sleeping rough. The initiative is part of the council’s rough sleeper accommodation programme and follows a successful bid to Homes England that allowed the purchase of the homes and full refurbishment.
Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, Cabinet Member for Direct Assistant Services, said: “When the pandemic hit the UK in 2020 our officers worked brilliantly to get all rough sleepers into accommodation as part of the ‘everyone in’ programme. The purchase of these eight properties builds on that work, with each one ring-fenced for people without the security of a home.”
The council has also worked in partnership with a Community Land Trust (CLT) to redevelop a former garage site in Langney (pictured).
Councillor Shuttleworth added: “The council works with a wide range of fantastic community-based organisations, none more so than the Community Land Trust.
“I am delighted that we have been able to release this site to the CLT for the purpose of creating new homes for local people and above all, it is wonderful to know that the properties will stay community owned, in perpetuity, for future generations.”
The CLT works in partnership to create truly low-cost housing for local key worker families on low incomes.
Sandy Medway, Chair of Trustees for Eastbourne Community Land Trust, said: "Eastbourne is crying out for affordable homes and the five houses we will build in Biddenden Close is a small first step on this journey.
“The Community Land Trust movement offers a great way forward for people in Eastbourne. Our local members, which currently number 117, are delighted to be taking a giant leap forward with the acquisition of land for affordable housing. With community goodwill, we are seeking government funding, grants, donations, and contributions from local business partners, to build five affordable houses for low-income key worker families, which they will own with us under a shared ownership scheme.
“As a Community Benefit Society and social enterprise run by its members, we are local volunteers ushering in a new approach to the housing market. From small beginnings we hope to grow our membership and the number of homes we create, which will remain owned in perpetuity by our members. Anyone can join with us and become a voting member for £1."
To find out more about Eastbourne Community Land Trust and see how to be eligible for one of the homes, visit eastbourneclt.co.uk