This event, promoted by Georgeham Parish Council was held on February 9 2017. The Rural Housing Enabler of Devon Communities Together and the Housing Allocation and Temporary Accommodation Service Lead of North Devon Council were present to assist people.

General information was provided about Affordable Housing to rent and possible intermediate rent / shared ownership / discounted. Rented housing is accessed through Devon Homechoice and it is simplest to register for this online. It is essential to register, keep details up to date, and stay on the system when it is reviewed each year, around April time. People should always express an interest in properties that they are interested in, even if it appears that there are many others interested.

Older rented housing will be allocated on the basis of general housing need and can go to people from across the District. Newer schemes are prioritised for those with a local connection to the Parish, or if no interest, to the adjoining rural ones or ultimately to North Devon. In broad terms this connection will be 5 years residence, 5 years employment, current employment in certain professions (emergency services, primary or secondary school teacher, agriculture and professional healthcare or social worker), or born / raised in the area but have moved away and still have a parent or guardian living there.

Those who attended the drop-in are all either renting privately, or living with a relative and are seeking more security of tenure or an independent home. Most appeared to meet local connection criteria.

All expressed an interest in both Affordable housing to rent or in low cost home ownership. No information about income or savings was gathered and individuals will need to check affordability with those selling such property. It was made clear intermediate rent / shared ownership / discounted sale home would also be prioritised for local people and that the sale value would be restricted to keep it as an affordable home.

Everyone that attended was aware of a new housing scheme in the pipeline from Pearce Homes. This has planning approval subject to the signing of a Section 106 Planning Agreement. This scheme is for sixteen homes in total and includes 5 affordable, 4 social rented (3 x 2 bed and 1 x 3 bed) and 1 intermediate rent / shared ownership / discounted sale (1 x 2 bed). All 5 rented and intermediate rent / shared ownership / discounted homes will be prioritised for people with local connection.

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