On the 29th May 2018 one of our founder members attended the Launch Event for the Isle of Wight Community Led Housing Programme. He had seen this event promoted by Isle of Wight Community Action on Facebook and discussed it with friends who also had an interest. As he was the only one available on the day it was decided that he would go along and report back.
After being welcomed by Cllr Barry Abraham there was an introduction to the programme by the Community Led Housing Officer, John Brownscombe, who stated that due to the high proportion of second homes on the Island it had qualified for a £1.7 million fund for community housing which he at Community Action would manage and they were looking for groups and organizations interested in applying for grants to provide housing.
Next there was a talk from Charlie Fisher from the CLT Network who discussed different approaches to CLH and talked mainly about LILAC. We then heard from Maria Brenton from the UK Cohousing Network who was heavily involved with OWLS Co-Housing, followed by a Q&A session.
An Isle of Wight Council representative was asked about the Council’s commitment to the programme and said that they would make land available for building for community led housing groups.
The afternoon continued with talks from various charitable organizations about housing projects they are involved with and a finale Q&A session.
After such a positive event and the possibility of grant funding making a long-time dream seem possible, it was decided that this could be the time to move forward with setting up a small group to organize a community Led Housing Project.