The housing crisis in West Devon is being tackled by councillors who have agreed to help form community housing groups to find suitable new affordable housing sites.

West Devon Borough Council is helping ease the affordable housing shortage by investing £50,000 to help communities deliver more new affordable homes.

The West Devon Housing Offer (launching this May) will also connect landowners and communities, to explore potential sites along with a house builder.

The council will provide financial support and practical advice on forming community housing groups, identify housing need and help established groups find housing sites and pre-planning application advice.

Communities will also be helped with the provision of energy efficient and environmentally friendly homes.

The initiative is on top of a 2019 scheme which supported Chagford Community Land Trust and Aster Group to deliver 28 new affordable homes at Bellacouch Meadows. 

And currently the council is supporting Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) in providing ten new affordable homes at Hessery View, Princetown.  DNPA is spending £173,000 on the joint housing, using both its own and council land. 

Councillor Mark Renders, lead member for housing at the council, said: “We know there are communities and landowners here in West Devon who, like us want to do all they can to help tackle the housing crisis.

“Quite often, community groups find they don’t have the time or resource to get a housing development project off the ground. Our new housing offer will help bridge the gap at one of the most critical times - between identifying a site to engaging with a delivery partner.

“The new development in Princetown is a great example of how we are working with partners to build homes where there is much need, and more communities out there can really use our help. 

“We want to put our efforts in where our biggest housing challenges lie. By supporting communities to deliver new lower cost homes, we can make the greatest difference to our residents.”