Wells residents urged to give their views on affordable housing

Wells next the sea. Picture: Paul Reynolds

Wells next the sea. Picture: Paul Reynolds - Credit: citizenside.com

A Norfolk housing organisation is urging residents in Wells to return survey forms by the end of January so that they can gain a greater understanding of the town’s affordable housing needs.

Homes for Wells distributed the Housing Needs Survey to every household, business and voluntary group in the town and they hope the results will allow them to draw up a detailed analysis of how many local families and service workers are in need.

For those who have not received the survey, forms have also been made available online and physical copies can be found in the town library and the Homes for Wells offices.

The affordable housing research is conducted by Homes for Wells every five years and the data provides town representatives with a better chance of obtaining government grants.

One such grant is the £2.4m Community Housing Fund, which was provided to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) by the central government to allow for affordable homes to be built in areas most hit by second homes.

For Wells second homes have been a controversial issue for a number of years and it is estimated that a third of all homes in the town are either second homes or holiday homes. This has resulted in many young people and families being forced out of the community they grew up in because the demand from out-of-town buyers has led to soaring housing prices.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has called the situation “ludicrous”.

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North Norfolk has the fourth highest number of second-owned homes in the country and over the past ten years house prices in some parts have risen by almost 50pc. However, there has not been any significant change in wages.

Homes for Wells said that along with local people, they are keen to help those working in key services such as NHS staff, social workers, lifeboat volunteers and fishermen.

The deadline for the forms is January 31 and they can be collected from – and returned to – the town library, the post office of the Homes for Wells office at the Sackhouse.

They can also be found on the Homes for Wells social media pages and on their website.

What are your views on housing in Wells? Email us on steve.shaw@archant.co.uk.