Affordable housing target is reached

Northumberland County Council is set to accelerate the delivery of a new era of affordable housing through Arch Homes, reaching its milestone to create 1,000 affordable properties across the county.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 12:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 2:55 pm
Affordable housing scheme at Embleton, opened earlier this year. Picture by Simon Williams.

Properties will be made available for affordable rent that will boost the housing stock and be of real benefit, creating housing that is available and affordable to all members of the community.

Arch has acquired new build residential properties across the market towns of Northumberland comprising 54 affordable homes. These family homes will be available and offer a range of house styles from semi-detached two and three-bed houses to town houses and apartments. These new additions take the creation of affordable homes for families beyond the 1,000 promised by the Labour administration in Northumberland.

Northumberland County Council has placed a strong emphasis on building new council owned homes and has financed the build of around 300 properties over the last three years. The authority is continuing to work with landowners and developers to do whatever it can within its powers to help alleviate the county’s affordable housing problem.

Last year the council completed 48 properties in Dandsfield Square, Amble, and this year it has completed 16 properties in Embleton and 20 in Shilbottle creating 84 new affordable homes for rent in north Northumberland. A further 26 bungalow development is being built by the council in Blyth.

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There is a strong demand for affordable housing where town centre rents are rising, and Northumberland County Council recognises that increasing house prices and the failure of income rises to keep pace with these has contributed to more local people finding it difficult to access decent and affordable housing.

Allan Hepple, cabinet member for Economic Development and Housing said: “We’ve got ambitious plans to deliver thousands of affordable homes across the county over the coming years and it’s great we’ve reached our first milestone of 1000 homes. The additions to the Arch portfolio help us achieve a wider mix of properties. These homes aren’t just bricks and mortar investments, they’re homes for families across Northumberland”.

Cllr Dave Ledger, chairman of Arch Group said: “The affordable housing programme is significant as it enhances the council’s standing as a provider of affordable homes in the county and an authority seeking innovative solutions to meet increasing demand. Providing affordable housing is a high priority for the Council in both the rural and urban communities. We must maximise opportunities, increasing the supply of good quality affordable housing ensuring our communities are sustainable and thrive.

“Arch are experienced developers and landlords and we are delighted to provide much needed affordable housing in Northumberland. These homes will provide a wide range of accommodation, and a variety of affordable housing tenures built to exacting standards. Arch Homes is the biggest private landlord in the county and will bring its skills and experience to this new and developing portfolio of affordable homes.”