Benlowndes

a perspective on PR in social housing and regeneration

Totnes tale brings home benefits of affordable housing

Since joining the HCA, I have become less involved in developing human stories which can demonstrate the positive impact that affordable housing has than I have been in the past.

This is mainly because although we directly fund the delivery of tens of thousands of new homes, they are build and managed by organisations that have the direct links with tenants and first time buyers who benefit from this investment. This leaves us reliant on social landlords and housing providers to uncover those occasional gems needed to bring a standard story to life.

This week we found such a story with our announcement of a £1.1m investment in the Culverdale estate in Totnes. This was announced as tenants moved into an earlier phase of completed homes, funded by the HCA in the same neighbourhood. We were provided with information about one of the new tenants, mum-of-three Rhona Curley, who moved into a new three-bedroomed house with her partner Howard Campbell and Molly, aged eight, Skye, six, and 18-month-old Lewis. The family had previously struggled to climb two flights of stairs to access their small flat with Skye, who has Down’s Syndrome and has undergone two heart operations.

Rhona’s input into the story (and some lovely pictures of her family, which are below) helped to bring home why this investment matters in places like Totnes, where high house prices and a lack of mortgage finance make access to affordable housing increasingly out of reach for many more people.

With nearly 2,000 families on the social housing waiting list in the South Hams (and more than 750 for Totnes alone), however, there is still a massive need for more schemes like this to be delivered.

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