Tenants are starting to move into a social housing project set up by Somerset Co-operative Community Land Trust.
Building work on four flats has finished, and the first tenants are arriving. A consultation is also underway on the construction of four more flats to the rear of the property. Members were invited to join the consultation on the project at the co-operative’s annual meeting on 23 June.
The first property by the co-op is a shop on East Reach, which has inclusive financial services on the ground floor, while the upper floors were converted into four flats. These are now being let out to new tenants at rates compatible with local housing allowance (LHA).
Alex Lawrie, secretary of the co-op, said: “This is only scratching the surface of the urgent need for social housing. We can’t build it fast enough. We’re very grateful to Taunton Association for the Homeless for their help with referrals and their support and advice throughout the process of establishing the first tenancies.”
Fran Hicks, the co-op’s chair, added: “This is a proud moment for us. Our volunteers have worked so hard to make welcoming and attractive flats. Whatever others may say, we are clear that everyone deserves the dignity of a home of their own, and some say in how it is managed.”