Belated greetings for 2019. It’s been a long time since we were in touch but we think the news today will more than make up for the long period of silence.
Dean Court Update
Some of you will remember what a devastating blow it was when we had to suspend the Dean Court project in March 2015 because we’d hit an unexpected legal issue with the Charity Commission. Back then we had to let go of the almost £1m worth of funding we had assembled, including a hefty grant from the Government.
But the delay has in fact taken a positive guise as we have been able to take advantage of the new Community Housing Fund 2018, a £163m pot for exactly the sort of thing we are doing at Dean Court.
In November we heard that we’d been successful in being awarded £67,000 by Homes England towards the pre-development work on the Dean Court site
As soon as the money arrives we will be applying for planning permission for the Dean Court flats. In parallel with preparing new plans we’ve been working with our lawyers to sort out the access to the site which is owned by Vale of White Horse District Council. We hope this will also be concluded to our mutual satisfaction in the very near future.
Event in February
Do you know anyone who might be interested in forming a group to ultimately find or create a community-led place in which to live affordably and securely? We’re running a meeting for such people on Tuesday 12th February 6pm (for an hour) at Open House Oxford.
Funding for office
Calling it an office is a bit grand: we have in fact got a hot-desk and we’re there every Tuesday and at other times by arrangement. Just before Christmas, we heard that the Midcounties Co-op will fund our rent at Makespace Oxford until the end of Feb 2020 so that’s very good news and a welcome boost after the years of running on empty! OCLT board meetings are held here every month
Update on the hub
OCLT are collaborating with a range of partners to set up a housing hub to promote and develop community-led projects across the Thames Valley. It’s called Collaborative Housing. Next month we will be applying for funding to start supporting groups so sign up to the mailing list if you want to keep informed.
And finally a further big thanks to the donors who made it possible for us to employ the redoubtable John Bloxsom who has been the engine of much of this progress. Thanks again to them but most of all to him. The Homes England money will mean we can fund him for a bit longer so that’s a brilliant result.