Housing needs survey launched in Whitchurch

A first-of-its-kind housing needs survey has launched in a north Shropshire town.

The Shropshire Council initiative to identify housing needs across the county has launched its first town-wide survey in Whitchurch.

Right Home, Right Place, part of the council’s affordable housing team, has been running surveys in a number of smaller villages and parishes since 2018, but this is the first time a survey of this scale has taken place in a town.

Residents are being asked to take part in the survey, which will be completed entirely online, as posters are placed throughout the town to spread the word.

Representatives from Right Home, Right Place will be manning a stall at Whitchurch’s Friday market inside the Civic Centre until mid-December 2019 to answer questions.

The survey aims to gives residents the chance to share their views on the housing needs of their area, and to identify all housing needs in the town including affordable housing, open market homes, properties to downsize into, and starter homes.

Edward West, Shropshire Council’s planning policy and strategy manager, said: “Throughout Shropshire, as with the rest of the country, we’re seeing a growing gap between the average salary and the average house price, which is making it very difficult for people to stay in the areas they’ve grown up in, gone to school, have family in or now work in.

“As a result of this, people begin moving elsewhere and this has a knock-on effect on our towns and villages; schools close, transport and infrastructure can be affected, pubs close, and we begin to lose various aspects of what makes our local communities vibrant and thriving places to live and work.”

“The open market in Shropshire offers very little in the way of affordable housing, and there are lots of people with housing needs; individuals who are struggling to get on the ladder, young families who need a larger home but can’t afford anything nearby, and older residents who need to downsize for cost or mobility reasons but can’t find anything affordable to downsize into.

“Our job is to help identify what type of housing people need, and where it’s needed most. Even if you people don’t currently have any housing needs, we still need to know – so we do strongly encourage all residents of Whitchurch to get involved and take the survey.

“It’s an invaluable chance to have their say on the future housing in their town or parish.”

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