Hightown Housing Association is set to bring almost 900 affordable homes to its hometown Hemel Hempstead as part of its major investment in the ongoing transformation of the town.

Its aim is to provide affordable homes for those who cannot afford to buy or rent a home at market values in Hemel Hempstead, as well as providing care and support to vulnerable and disabled people.

To date, 467 affordable homes have been built since 2009, including the new Park Lane development on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office, which opened earlier this year.

Plans are now in the pipeline for another 430 properties to be built in the Dacorum Borough Council area in the next five years, at a cost of £62m. These include 130 homes for rent and intermediate rent at Maylands Plaza, where work is now well underway.

This latest development will comprise two separate blocks of one and two bedroom flats, with 77 for affordable rent and 53 for intermediate rent. A public square will separate the two buildings.

Maylands will also include 10 shops, with a Sainsbury’s Local already confirmed and other high street names on the cards. Adeyfield Free Church has just exchanged on a lease for space in Block B.

A planning decision is expected soon for 87 one and two bedroom affordable flats at Viking House on Swallowdale Lane, just a mile away.

Hightown Chief Executive David Bogle commented: “The Hemel Hempstead new town is now 60 years old and it needs further investment in its housing and infrastructure.

“The demand for affordable housing in the town is huge as property prices rise, pricing more and more people out of buying or renting on the open market. Our overall objective is to provide good quality affordable housing for those in our community, along with excellent services.”

Hightown has recently launched ‘Transforming Hemel Hempstead', a video (see above) which showcases the charitable organisation’s ongoing commitment to Hemel Hempstead. The video outlines the continued investment which Hightown has made in the town and the difference it has made to local communities.

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning said: “Hightown are so crucial because they are the local team. They’re the people who know the community so well and they know what’s going on.

“That sort of forward-thinking can only be done by a housing association, with the help of the Council.”