Community Build North

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Urban Terrace

How it might work ... Situated within a former housing market renewal programme, the area has been subject to partial demolition and clearance with many remaining properties suffering from a lack of investment in anticipation of future clearances. Abortive work on the programme has left the area without funding and any achievable masterplan or supportive planning policies. The local authority has a challenge to address both levels of ‘planned’ under occupation and complementary new build that has never been delivered.

urban terrace

One of the possible solutions is to re-examine the financial and environmental benefits of low carbon retrofitting and reuse in direct comparison to the cost and environmental standards of new build proposals. Growing experiences in the field of retrofitting the existing housing stock have several technically suitable and cost effective solutions for the type of construction.
While there is some potential income for elements of the refurbishment work arising from the obligations on energy suppliers; where savings from the measures undertaken will repay the capital costs and contribute towards new ‘affordable warmth’ targets; and the European Energy Efficiency Fund, given the appropriate scale of the new build combined with retrofitting, the society has proposed decentralised energy solutions as an option for hot water and space heating requirements. The society is also examining potential research support to undertake 24 months of post occupancy monitoring for energy use and carbon emissions, hoping to use the lessons to assist the development of evidence-based green financial products and to develop their regional advocacy role for addressing fuel poverty. It is also expected to contribute towards work on a Code for Sustainable Refurbishment.
The proposed community land trust would share some of the aims of the initial pathfinder housing market renewal programme, in seeking to deal with poor levels of upkeep and investment, high levels of absentee landlords.
The CLT agreed to take up the challenge for place-making within the town by early and meaningful engagement with the local community.Principal funding is in the form of assets, both land and vacant property, from the local authority and the remaining holdings from the regional development agency and the Home and Communities Agency. This is consistent with the ‘Community Right to Reclaim land’, although there is limited interest from any private sector housing developers at this point in time. Close partnership working and support is anticipated.
As the scheme includes a mix of low carbon refurbishment, some initial funding has been made from some national charitable trusts aware of the relationship between community land rusts and self-help housing. One of the principles required in this approach is the employment of local trades and training of local members of the CLT to contribute to the capital work necessary. The aim is to engender a broad level of direct community involvement and this aim has attracted attention from several private landlords who wish to participate and encourage their tenants to do so. Many similar approach have targeted a ‘cluster’ of properties for refurbishment but the CLT has become aware of the significant savings from working on a

teesside urban terrace leeds back to back

A viable funding model can be achieved by recycling rental income to pay for some of the repairs to the existing properties. This is supplemented by eligible contributions under the New Green Deal and a mix of volunteer time and some ‘sweat equity’.