Our Communities and Homes

As residents and stakeholders in Exeter, we will build on the strong foundation of Labour values, fabulous Exeter communities and our work so far as a Labour-led council to keep Exeter a great place to live, work and visit.

We are immensely proud of the amount of important and inspirational work that takes place led by community groups and organisations in the city.  The Voluntary & Community Sector is a key part of the city’s fabric and it delivers extraordinary value for the funds allocated from the Council and other sources. Their value is also in the social capital brought to communities demonstrated through the fantastic things that people achieve in and for their communities.

Inclusivity is key to bringing everyone together to take pride in Exeter a great place to live and thrive.

Alongside our strong community of city residents, we continue to tackle the housing crisis which has an impact on everyone in the city. We are proud of being a council which has maintained and developed our number of social housing homes, insists on affordable housing as part of any new commercial housing developments and works tirelessly to address homelessness within the city.

Key achievements last year

Exeter is the No.1 city in the UK for increase in housing stock. This is reflected in the Council exceeding the housing delivery test with a score of 155 per cent. We are proud of this position and are committed to the expansion of our social and affordable housing whilst working alongside other partners in Exeter in addressing homelessness and emergency housing needs.

We have invested £6m in building our first ever council owned Extra Care Housing scheme to be managed in partnership with Devon County Council. This Passivhaus development contains 53 one and two-bedroom flats providing extra care within the home for council residents.

20 new Passivhaus council homes for families have been built at Bovemoors Lane and Thornpark Rise.

The business plan for 500 new council homes to be built in the next 5 years has been approved and is underway.

Our own development company Exeter City Living continues to set new standards for housing in Exeter including the commencement of delivery at Clifton Hill and Vaughan Road.

200 owner occupied and privately rented properties benefitted from a £2m bid secured to provide energy efficiency improvements.

26 studio flats for young people in the city centre Sidwells Lofts built in partnership with YMCA Exeter.

We have introduced a Council Housing and Development Advisory Board consisting of councillors, housing experts and tenants who provide effective governance to the housing service. We have also enhanced an engagement group giving voice to council Tenants and Leaseholders, introduced a new Residents Involvement Strategy and a new Neighbourhood Strategy to empower residents and neighbourhoods to work with the council on creating and maintaining great neighbourhoods.

We have continued to provide support and advice for the homeless and everyone with housing needs in an increasingly demanding housing crisis.

Working with Exeter City Community Trust we have secured over £500,000 government funding for supporting homeless people into housing.

We have provided 16 new units of accommodation under the Rough Sleeper Accommodation programme.

A trailblazing pilot housing and support project has been established with Colab for vulnerable women fleeing domestic violence and abuse.

Developing our Liveable Exeter programme for new sustainable neighbourhoods and communities within Exeter.

Exeter was announced as the second cleanest City in the country in a national survey, reflecting the hard work of our street cleaning teams and neighbourhood communities.

Under the Safer Streets initiative, £0.5m was awarded by the Home Office to improve CCTV coverage, establish community and student watch schemes, enhance the business crime partnership radio network, improve lighting and public place enhancements.

We worked with Exeter University to secure funding to improve the Safety of Women at Night (SWAN Project).

More than 260 litter-picker kits were loaned to residents in 2021 who have joined us in keeping neighbourhoods clean and attractive.

Artwork created by local schoolchildren, supported by our Live and Move project, has been displayed on development hoardings and on the new cycle bridge in Whipton.

Exeter City Council award in the region of £1m each year to support communities across the city.  This includes around £300,000 in community grants.

We continued the delivery of strategic contracts to support community infrastructure and wellbeing including:

  • Citizens Advice – giving free, independent, confidential and impartial advice, information and advocacy to help people resolve the problems they face. In the past 12 months 9,000 residents in the city have been supported.
  • Wellbeing Exeter – a partnership of public, voluntary and community sector organisations have come together to support the 40% of patients who visit their GP with socially based rather than medical problems. A team of community builders support residents to develop new initiatives enabling communities to improve and promote their own health and wellbeing.
  • Exeter Connect -This community service provides support and advice to both new and more established community groups in the city, helping community groups in Exeter to develop and grow.

What we will do next

  • We will continue our plans to increase council housing stock built to high energy-efficient standards benefiting our tenants with lower fuel bills and sustainable homes.
  • We will continue the retrofitting of our existing 4,000 council homes reducing carbon emissions and fuel costs.
  • We will create a business case for our own new Residential Property Company to build and acquire rented homes with the security of an ethical landlord and secure tenancies not seen in the private sector.
  • Working with key partners and stakeholders in the city, we will develop a strategic approach to tackling homelessness and complex-issue housing needs.
  • A revised Community Grants programme will ensure there is still a focus on supporting local community initiatives, supporting community buildings with overheads and refurbishment to help our amazing community-led resources be resilient into the future.
  • We will review and improve the provision and infrastructure of the Corn Exchange.
  • We will be consulting on the draft of the new Local Plan, involving communities in planning for the future of Exeter growth and neighbourhoods.
  • We will work with community networks and trustees in Pinhoe and Whipton to explore the development of new Community Wellbeing Hubs.
  • Through a new Community Asset Transfer Policy we will continue to address how the Council can support community organisations to take on and manage buildings and resources to benefit their local communities.
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