Special event to promote low carbon affordable housing

People are invited to learn more about the delivery of low carbon affordable housing across Oxfordshire.

Organised by the Oxfordshire Growth Board, a special webinar will bring together expert speakers who will showcase exemplar developments, discuss local and national policy and how to meet the challenges for delivery.

It is hoped the virtual event, taking place between 11am and 1pm on Wednesday 9 December, will inspire and encourage more low carbon affordable housing developments across the county.

Low and zero carbon policies are now a priority across all Oxfordshire councils and the Oxfordshire Growth Board is keen to champion the exchange of good practice and guidance on sustainable, low and zero carbon construction, promoting uptake and setting local expectations.

The event will comprise individual presentations and panel discussions, and will be chaired by Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council.

Cllr Brown said: “This event promises to be a great opportunity to learn more about how all Oxfordshire’s councils can help boost the delivery of low carbon affordable housing developments.

“I’d encourage registered housing providers, developers, and anyone with an interest in delivering low carbon homes to register and attend.”

Speakers include:

Information relating to the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal, and how this can support the delivery of affordable low carbon housing, will also be provided.

You can register free to attend the event via Eventbrite.

Views sought on strategic vision to secure best future for Oxfordshire residents

A strategic vision for Oxfordshire is being prepared with the aim of improving the lives of all in the county.

And your views are sought to make sure it delivers what is most important to you.

The Vision sets out our ambition for the county and lays the foundations to put us on the right path for long-term positive change.

It will be used to help create an agreed set of long-term, strategic economic, infrastructure and environmental priorities designed to deliver the outcomes that local people want.

You’re invited to give your thoughts on whether the outcomes – and the definition of “good growth” and set of guiding principles that underpin them – are the right ones for Oxfordshire.

We also want to know how we can measure the Vision’s progress, how far we should aim and how fast we should try to reach our targets.

Councillor Emily Smith, chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, said: “The Strategic Vision for Oxfordshire will be a document that councils and other local organisations refer to when developing policies and plans to improve local people’s lives, so it is important that as many people as possible take this opportunity to let us know what you think, what’s missing, and how it could be improved.

“You can read the draft Vision and submit your feedback and ideas at www.oxfordshireopenthought.org/strategic-vision

The Growth Board will ask, and work with, those preparing relevant strategic-level plans and programmes – such as the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and the Oxfordshire Industrial Strategy – to consider how their work will deliver against this Strategic Vision.

This collective approach will better position Oxfordshire to influence the priorities of other relevant organisations.

You can give your thoughts via the Oxfordshire Open Thought website at www.oxfordshireopenthought.org/strategic-vision

The engagement period ends on January 3, 2021.

Your responses will help shape the final draft Strategic Vision, which will then go before the Growth Board early next year.“

Supporting delivery of community-led housing

A report into how Oxfordshire can support delivering more affordable homes developed by and for local communities has been published.

It sets out the current barriers and opportunities for growing the delivery of what is known as community-led housing (CLH) in Oxfordshire.

CLH can include cohousing schemes, housing cooperatives and community land trusts (CLT’s).

The sector, while small, is growing with nearly 7,000 CLT homes to be built or refurbished over the next 5 years (source).

Oxfordshire already has some examples of community-led housing – Stonesfield CLT is one of the oldest community land trusts in the UK, owning and managing 15 homes in West Oxfordshire.

But delivering CLH can be long and complex with a number of challenges to overcome.

The report – commissioned by the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and funded by Homes England’s Community Housing Fund – identifies and reviews the three key elements of funding, access to land and technical support which often act as barriers to community housing groups.

It also identifies a variety of best practice from around the UK as well as specific recommendations to support the delivery of CLH in Oxfordshire.

You can read the report here.