Event to shine a spotlight on affordable housing group

An aerial photo of Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, taken from a drone by Mark Frary. Picture: Mark Fr

Homes for Wells are hoping to keep key workers in the town with helping them with affordable housing. - Credit: Archant

The plight of a community group aiming to find homes for locals in one of north Norfolk's most sought-after towns is to go under the spotlight.

Robert Smith, harbourmaster at Wells-next-the-Sea, will host a fundraising evening for the group Homes For Wells on Friday, September 17, at the town's community hospital. 

Karen Clarke, fundraiser and financial administrator for the charity, said she was worried that teachers, RNLI volunteers and first responders were leaving the town because they were priced out of the competitive real estate market there. 

“There is no chance of local people buying a house and with the little social housing, it becomes more important to increase our housing stock to get somewhere that is affordable to keep the key workers,” she said.

“The town has to continue to thrive as a community and provide these services. We have to keep these people in the town."

Homes for Wells has been around since 2006, and it currently owns or manages 30 properties in and around the coastal town.

The group currently has 40 families on its waiting list.

Karen Clarke, fundraiser and financial administrator for Homes for Wells.

Karen Clarke, fundraiser and financial administrator for Homes for Wells. - Credit: Karen Clarke

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Mrs Clarke, 56, said events such as that at the hospital were "extremely important".

She said: "It is a fundraising event and we are desperately in need of the event to go towards properties or the refurbishment we are having to do,” she said.

“Secondly, they are a good opportunity to learn more about us. Some people still have not heard of us or know what we do.

Wells Harbour master Robert Smith. Picture: Ian Burt

Wells harbourmaster Robert Smith.  - Credit: Ian Burt

“We need to be out and about in the public, getting our message across.”

Two families were recently housed by the charity in renovated homes in Northfield Waye.

Those families had faced an emergency - they had to move out of their previous, rented homes because the owners wanted to convert them to holiday lets. 

David Fennell, the group's chairman, said at the time: "We're trying to keep Wells going as a community with people living here all year round but it's an incredibly difficult task to keep us up to the level where we were before. 

Tickets for the fundraiser are available by emailing Mrs Clarke at karen.clarke@homesforwells.com, and more information about the charity is online at homesforwells.com

A before and after shot of the work done by Homes for Wells.

Inside a home which was renovated by Homes for Wells. - Credit: Homes for Wells.

Wells Community Hospital. Picture: Ian Burt

Wells Community Hospital. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT