Hightown Housing Association is offering local people in Harpenden a rare opportunity to move into an affordable home in the prosperous commuter town, where average property values are now more than £822,000.

The attractive Waterside development at Millstone Way on Lower Luton Road, where Hightown will provide 15 apartments for affordable rent and eight shared ownership homes, was opened by the Town Mayor of Harpenden, Councillor Nicola Linacre, on Friday 7th October.

The stylish new housing scheme has been built by the River Lea on the former Lea Industrial Estate, where Lodge Park Ltd have developed 67 new apartments and maisonettes, as well as two office buildings.

Hightown, a charitable housing association aiming to help people unable to afford to buy or rent homes at market values, acquired 35% of the properties on the new development, all one and two bedroom apartments.

The new homes will help local people struggling to find an affordable home in their own community, where property prices have risen dramatically in recent decades.

In the last 12 months alone, the average purchase price of a flat in the affluent town has risen by more than 10% to £386,567, while the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom flat is currently £1,164 .

People who have a local connection to Harpenden or live or work in the area will be given priority for the shared ownership apartments. Shared ownership is an easy and affordable way to buy a home by purchasing a share in the property and paying subsidised rent on the remaining share. The affordable rent apartments have been let to people on St Albans and District Councils’ waiting list.

The Town Mayor of Harpenden, Councillor Mrs Nicola Linacre, said: “I’m delighted to officially open these much-needed new affordable homes in Harpenden. I hope the residents will be really happy in this great location overlooking the River Lea.”

David Bogle, Chief Executive at Hightown, added: “As far as we know, there hasn’t been any affordable homes built for rent in Harpenden since the 1970s, and property prices have rocketed since then. These attractive apartments are a fantastic opportunity for local people to fulfil their dream of moving into a home in their own community.”