Much needed new affordable homes in Swanage

BCHA has helped improve the prospects of local people who need affordable homes in Swanage.

After teaming up with Dorset Council, BCHA has welcomed its first tenants to a brand new housing development at Prospect Farm. And shortly it will also be welcoming its first shared ownership residents.

BCHA developed the affordable housing element of the new site – two shared ownership homes and five flats. Dorset Council identified the best use of the site to reflect the housing needs of the area and BCHA was commissioned to develop and manage the properties. The council also worked closely with BCHA in nominating potential tenants for the flats.

CEO of BCHA, Martin Hancock, said: “We are delighted to see our first tenants move into the new flats at Prospect Farm. Affordable housing like this is desperately needed, especially in towns like Swanage and rural areas like Purbeck.”  

”In addition to providing supportive housing to people who need it, BCHA also develops general needs affordable housing and flats. We’re on target to build 500 new affordable homes, like these ones in Swanage, over the next five years.”

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety, added:  “I’m delighted Dorset Council has teamed up with BCHA to benefit local people."

“The council is committed to working with registered housing providers, like BCHA, to deliver affordable, suitable and decent home and these will provide a fresh start for local people."

The provision of suitable housing is one of Dorset Council’s priorities. By working with registered housing providers like BCHA, community land trusts and local housing partners the council delivers affordable, suitable and decent housing.

Currently there are 383 households on the housing register in the Purbeck area.

Chris McDermott, Senior Housing Officer (Policy & Enabling), said: “I work with many housing associations to facilitate affordable housing in the district.“

"For Prospect Farm I introduced BCHA to the developer and a partnership was formed to provide the affordable housing. It’s so good to see people now move into these beautiful homes, which are very much in keeping with the rural nature of this part of Swanage.”

BCHA is keen to work with local authorities and developers in providing affordable homes in Dorset and Devon.

Anyone interested in finding out more about BCHA Development should contact Nick Richards, Development Officer nickrichards@bcha.org.uk

Affordable home made Alan’s dreams come true

One of the first tenants to move onto the site at Prospect Farm has described how the BCHA flat he now calls home has changed his life.

For the first time in his 46 years, Alan Audley, who has Autism, has been able to live independently. Not only that, but he has achieved a lifetime’s ambition – to live in Swanage where his father Chris grew up.

Alan, who moved into his new home a few weeks ago, said: “I absolutely love my new home and the best thing about it is it’s in Swanage. I’ve always loved Swanage as it’s where my dad is from and it’s such a beautiful town. I also get to live independently, which means so much to me.”

Previously, Alan was sharing supported accommodation in the Purbeck area with two other people with disabilities.

The house was situated in a remote location with no pavements – and the nearest bus stop was nearly a mile away and served very infrequently.

This meant Alan was reliant on help from his family and day care services to get out and about – frustrating for someone who regularly attends his drama group in Wimborne and also loves to visit places.

Dad Chris explained: “Although Alan has Autism, he is very independent and able to take care of himself and do lots of things for himself. His last accommodation was not suitable for his needs and it was also very isolated and not safe for him to leave the house.“

“He had to rely on others to get about. He had to wait a very long time for this flat and I’m so happy for him, especially as living in Swanage was always his dream. Now he can catch the bus to his drama club, walk into town and visit his favourite places like Durlston Country Park.”

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