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St Ives Community Land Trust

Who benefits

This share offer's primary target community is people in St Ives and the surrounding area who are in need of more affordable homes. Through providing more affordable homes to rent, St Ives CLT will serve people who currently find it difficult to buy or rent a decent, affordable home in the town.

Providing permanently affordable housing

A quarter of houses in the St Ives area are holiday properties, remaining empty for large parts of the year. This is higher than the 21% ‘tipping point’ level of holiday development above which, research shows, negative socio-economic effects are created, such as under-population of the town in the low season and social isolation, especially of the elderly.

In St Ives, house prices are higher than the national average but tourist/service sector jobs pay wages more than £8000 pa below the national average. Many residents felt that unfettered development was not meeting the needs of the local community, by failing to deliver permanently affordable homes for local people.

The neighbourhood plan consultations uncovered many stories of the people who live and work here - local families unable to find an affordable, suitable homes; adult children living with parents despite having good jobs; employees having to travel long distances to work; rental properties only available out of season or for short lets, and local people eventually giving up and moving away.

The Old Vicarage Flats development presents the first opportunity for St Ives as a community to really begin to deliver on its housing objectives..

Case Studies

Case Study 1

Sandra, 62 years of age working as a Senior Nurse in a local care home, was renting a small one-bedroom cottage at £795 per month which was just affordable on her single income of £28,800 p.a. and on a shorthold tenancy agreement. She was given notice to leave after 11 months as the owner said he had decided to sell the property. She was unable to purchase a property and moved out only to learn later that the property had become a holiday let charging £700-950 per week. She was unable to find a suitable property in St. Ives and therefore moved 20 miles away where rental property is more affordable and resigned from her job to take up a new position near to her new residence, resulting in a loss of a key worker in a skilled profession.Her old house is now occupied for potentially only 75% of the year, further reducing the number of permanent residents in one street in the town centre.

Case Study 2

Martin, 54 years of age working in two jobs, one in retail and one in hospitality, rented a small studio flat at £595 per month plus utilities, which was barely affordable. The facilities were very poor - one bedroom with single shower and cloakroom sink and wc, plus a lounge that fit a large two seater sofa along one wall with a galley kitchen opposite. There was no outside space, just single glazing and inefficient heating. Martin is an example of a single adult male on housing register unlikely to qualify for any housing that becomes available. Stress severely affects people in this situation.

Case Study 3

A young couple, both working in catering and hospitality with minimum wage incomes of around £16,000 each p.a. can find only short-hold tenancy flats (for the 6 months of the year when they are not in use as holiday accommodation) at £750-950 per week plus utilities. This would be unsustainable if and when they decide to start a family. Their neighbours are holiday makers, changing on a regular basis and with lower regard for noise levels etc, and they live above commercial premises.

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