Grant of £15,000 will kick-start Hawes homes project

The council car park at Langthwaite in Arkengarthdale.

By Betsy Everett

A £15,000 grant to kick-start a plan to provide affordable homes for rent has been awarded to the Upper Dales Community Partnership in Hawes.

The money will be used to fund a project officer for a year initially, to oversee development of six houses in the town and four more in a car-parking space in Arkengarthdale, and to advise other community groups in the upper dales who are planning similar developments.

Applications are currently being considered for the post which carries a salary of £13,000 a year for a 20-hour week and Councillor John Blackie, chairman of the UWCP which runs the community office in Hawes, says he expects total costs for the first year will be around £20,000.
The story continues after the adverts. . . . 

On top of the salary, which equates to £12.50 an hour, there will be legal, planning and consultant’ fees, and the balance will be funded by the Partnership and a grant from North Yorkshire Country Council, said Mr Blackie.

The £15,000 grant came from Richmondshire District Council’s community-led housing fund, which received over half a million pounds as part of a government initiative to provide more affordable homes in rural areas.

Although initially concentrating on the Hawes site facing Old Gayle Lane, and the Arkengarthdale house building plans, the UWCP is setting up a Community Land Trust to develop plans to provide further social housing to rent in the upper dales.

Other sites identified for development would be taken on by the new project officer under the auspices of the Trust. Any homes built under the scheme would not be within the scope of the government’s right-to-buy scheme which allows councils and housing associations to sell them to tenants at a discount.

“This means they would always be available to rent at affordable prices,” said Mr Blackie.

He urged people to take advantage of the scheme as, if the money is not spent on community-led housing, it will go back into government coffers.

Apart from being able to “act on their own initiative” and “be inquisitive, resourceful, enthusiastic and determined,” the successful applicant “must never be willing to accept No for an answer whilst Yes remains a possibility,” says the job advert.

Details can be found at www.hawescommunityoffice.co.uk or see Facebook, Hawes Community Office, Twitter @HawesHub, or call Cllr Blackie on 0796 7589096 or 01969 667123.

The community-led housing schemes are for developments of between one and 25 homes, set up and run by local people. Details from sarah.hall@hambleton.gov.uk  or www.nycyerhousing.co.uk/community-led-housing