Hightown Housing Association and East Herts District Council have celebrated the first phase opening of a new housing development in Buntingford that will deliver 34 brand-new affordable homes – eight for shared ownership and 26 for social rent, including four wheelchair accessible bungalows prioritised for people with assessed mobility needs.
This first phase welcomes the opening of nine new social rent properties (including three wheelchair accessible bungalows) and four shared ownership homes, which will all be made available for residents of East Herts.
A special ribbon-cutting event took place on 9 November where Cllr Peter Boylan, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods at East Herts Council, declared the homes officially open. The event was also attended by Cllr Jeff Jones – district councillor for Buntingford, officers from East Herts Council, David Bogle, Hightown Housing Association's Chief Executive, and representatives from Wheatley, the contractor involved in the building of the new development.
The homes are located off Hare Street Road in the picturesque market town of Buntingford. The new social rent homes will be allocated to people in housing need who have been nominated by East Herts Council. They include three wheelchair accessible bungalows (one and two bedrooms), four houses (two and three bedrooms) and two maisonettes (one and two bedrooms). The four shared ownership (part buy, part rent) homes are one and two-bedroom maisonettes.
This is the first phase of affordable homes on the development, with a further 17 social rent and four shared ownership homes due to be ready in February and July 2023. In total there will be 86 homes on the development, with the remaining 52 homes for private sale by Wheatley.
David Bogle, Chief Executive at Hightown Housing Association, said:
"It has been a pleasure working alongside East Herts Council and the building contractor, Wheatley, to deliver these high-quality homes for local people. I'm delighted that the development includes social rent homes to help residents who have been priced out of renting or buying on the market."
Cllr Peter Boylan, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods at East Herts Council, said:
“I’m delighted to officially mark the opening of the first phase of this new development that delivers a total of 86 brand new homes in Buntingford. The development demonstrates that the council is delivering it ambitious new Housing Strategy and I’m particularly pleased that as well as 8 homes for shared ownership, there are 26 homes with social rents, including four much needed wheelchair accessible bungalows.
“Buntingford has one of the fastest growing populations for people aged 60 and over. The rents for these homes will be set at Social Rent level, which is around 50% to 60% of full market rent, making them very accessible and affordable for households in their later years. The shared ownership homes also offer an excellent affordable option for young people who wish to get on the housing ladder with their first home.
To view the East Herts Housing Strategy 2022-27 visit: https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/housing/housing-policies-and-strategies
To help fix the homelessness and housing crisis, Hightown plans to build over 1,000 homes in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire over the next two years.