The small market town of Holsworthy, in Devon, has seen house prices rise sharply due to pressure for retirement and second homes. In 2004, a housing needs survey showed that house prices had reached almost 13 times the typical local family earnings, putting property ownership out of the reach of many local people. Homes for Holsworthy believes that people should be able to stay in their own locality to enable them to contribute to preserving their communities. Their ambition is to build a more balanced local community.
Holsworthy CPT operate by taking land out of the market, thus removing the impact of land price appreciation. They retain a 30 – 40 % equitable interest in the homes they sell, keeping control of resale prices through pre-emption agreements. Homes are made available at 60 - 70% of their open market value.
The Trust has also pioneered a “Do It Yourself Equity Ownership” (DIYEO) scheme which allows purchasers to choose their home on the open market, paying as much as they can afford. Homes for Holsworthy provides an equity mortgage to pay for the rest of the open market value.
Providing for Local People
The Trust aims to provide for the squeezed “middle market”, between those eligible for social housing and open market buyers. Applicants for the homes are given priority according to their local connection, local employment, local residence and family connections, whether they are moving from one HCPT or housing association property to another within the area, and length of wait. The Trust aims to give priority to young people, to maintain the vibrancy of the area for the future.
To date, the Trust has delivered 15 homes in several stages through self-financing schemes, using revolving grant funding from the local authority and loans from Charity Bank, CAF and the CLT Fund. The Trust has also been offered some commuted funding paid to the local council by a developer in lieu of building affordable housing elsewhere in the town, which has made the DIYEO scheme possible.