Our First Housing Project – The Old Vicarage Flats
“Truly affordable living is vital, particularly with regard to home ownership and/or rental.
Houses in St Ives area should be seen first and foremost as homes rather than investments.”
Extract from St Ives Community Charter 2017.
Our objective is to buy and renovate Old Vicarage Flats in Street an Pol, in the centre of the town. This will provide six vital, permanently affordable homes for key workers and other local people, secured under an asset lock for future generations.
You can help by donating on this page towards the project or by investing in our community shares through our partner Ethex.
There is a pressing social need for affordable housing in St Ives. Purchasing properties for holiday lets has inevitably pushed house prices above the national average, in a place where wages are well below the national average. This squeezes the housing market for long term residents and local workers. For a tourist economy to work, all residents must have fair access to good quality accommodation.
The neighbourhood plan consultations uncovered many stories of the people who live and work here –
local families unable to find an affordable, suitable homes;
adult children living with parents despite having good jobs;
employees having to travel long distances to work;
rental properties only available out of season or for short lets, and local people eventually giving up and moving away.
The Plan’s housing objective is
“to support the provision of affordable and principal residence housing so that the St Ives area continues to be a place where people of all ages can live and work”.
The Old Vicarage Flats development presents the first opportunity for us as a community to really begin to deliver on our housing objectives.
Bringing buildings into or back into community ownership presents an exciting but culturally sensitive way of delivering local housing needs.
It is fulfilling the neighbourhood plan, produced and supported by so many local people.
Once acquired through a combination of community share investment capital, donations, grant aid and a long-term social investment mortgage, the flats will be re-modelled and renovated to a good standard of environmental sustainability, given the age and structural demands of the building. As a result, tenants will enjoy lower energy bills and we will have contributed to wider environmental improvement. The flats will be available for rental as affordable housing and protected for the benefit of the community through an asset-lock protection in our Rules (available on request).