The homes on Guessburn in Stocksfield were developed by Isos Housing on behalf of the local community, who formed a group known as SCATA (Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm) to bring the project forward.
Yesterday at a high profile awards ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel in central London, representatives from Isos and SCATA were thrilled to be announced as the winners of the Best Partnership Award.
The judges praised Isos and SCATA for their commitment to providing affordable homes for the local community, in a village were no affordable housing had been built for decades.
The citation read: “This project involved a local community from the start, at the heart of the arrangement and was a good example of local positive control to meet local housing needs.
“The scheme was an interesting use of land and community organisations, which must have been challenging to coordinate. The structure could be replicated elsewhere as a way of meeting changing demand in smaller communities.”
The seven new homes were built for SCATA using a Community Land Trust model, funded by the HCA, which means the land and the homes are owned by the local community forever, to ensure continued provision of affordable homes for the local community in Stocksfield.
The National Housing Award for Best Partnership was recognition of the close working relationship Isos fostered with the SCATA directors, the main contractor NB Clark, the HCA, together with consultants and subcontractors.
Vince Walsh, development and regeneration manager for Isos, who managed the building of the SCATA homes, said: “We’re so delighted that our partnership with SCATA has been chosen for this award, and what that says about the importance of building affordable homes in rural communities.
“This was a complex scheme, but what we’ve been able to deliver makes the hard work worthwhile.
“We hope this will encourage more communities to come together to build their own homes.”
Pete Duncan, chair of SCATA, said: “Everyone involved with SCATA is absolutely delighted that four years of voluntary effort has been recognised by this important National Housing Award.
“We are one of many communities across the country who are tackling the acute shortage of affordable homes by doing it themselves.
“We knew it was a priority in our village, so we went out and found land to build on, we approached Isos to help us and the result is seven fabulous new homes rented by local people who would otherwise have had to move elsewhere.
“Our hope is that many more communities across the country will do the same. Community Land Trusts another forms of community-led housing make a really big difference to people’s lives. There need to be more of them.”
The National Housing Awards are run by the National Housing Federation to celebrate excellence in affordable housing. This year the awards were presented by comedian Marcus Brigstocke at the Lancaster hotel in London.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Right across the country housing associations are adding value to local communities, building affordable homes and creating jobs. The National Housing Awards is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this work and all of today’s winners should be proud of what they’ve achieved.”
Isos was also shortlisted in the Small Development category for its Farmstead development of 20 new homes in Seaton Burn, where a nature reserve was regenerated as part of the scheme.