A Parish development of affordable homes?
In previous decades young couples and families from St Ouen have benefitted by being able to purchase homes in parish backed village development schemes such as La Ville des Marettes (1971) and La Ville de la Croix (1983). Many older residents have also been able to downsize and stay in the parish as a result of the parish developments at Le Clos de Mahaut (1976) and Le Jardin de la Rue (1987 and 1996).
As you can see, it has been some years since the Parish completed these projects but it seems to us that the need is greater than ever. We are approached by families with parish connections who would love to stay in St Ouen but cannot do so due to the shortage of affordable homes. Many families are resigning themselves to being unable to own their own home or even deciding to leave the Island.
A 2016 States report on Jersey's Future Housing Needs reported that there was a shortfall of about 1,000 homes for purchase in the island with the largest deficit in 2 and 3 bedroom houses.
Alongside this, there is a great need to ensure suitable accommodation for people as they get older. Life expectancy has climbed dramatically in recent years and by 2035 there will be 70% more people over the age of 65 than there are today.
We wish to find out if there is sufficient interest in a scheme to build affordable homes in the Parish. Some of these might be purchased by young couples and families and others would be occupied by our senior citizens. The intention would be to offer homes which would be in shared ownership with the Parish. It would be stipulated that any resale of the homes would have to be to other first time buyers. You may be aware that St. Peter is currently planning a similar project and Trinity has recently completed a development for first time buyers under similar arrangements.
If there appears to be sufficient interest, there will be a process of consultation with parishioners, a site or sites would need to be identified and planning permission sought. A Parish Assembly would make any final decision and allocation of homes would only be made if and when a scheme is approved. We do not anticipate any great cost to ratepayers and we hope that the construction costs of any homes for over 55s would be funded from the generous bequest of the late Mrs Beryl Coulter to the elderly of the parish.
The Parish maintains a waiting list for its current Homes for the Elderly but we need to assess any demand from prospective first time buyers. Accordingly if you live in St Ouen, or were born in or have family connections to the Parish, and wish to register your interest in an affordable homes scheme for first time buyers, please complete and return an application form which can be downloaded from www.parish.gov.je/StOuen or obtained from St Ouen's Parish Hall.
Even if you already own your home, please encourage any of your family members who may qualify as first time buyers to complete the application form. The term "first time buyer" may include anyone who already owns by share transfer or flying freehold.
We would also be pleased to hear from any parishioner who feels they can offer skills or advice to the Parish as we embark on this period of planning and consultation.