SARH and Housing Plus join forces to say ‘Yes to Homes’
TWO leading housing providers planning to build 214 new affordable homes in Staffordshire are backing a national campaign encouraging more affordable housing developments in the UK.
Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) and Housing Plus are supporting the National Housing Federation’s ‘Yes to Homes’ week of awareness (September 2-8) as they continue their plans to invest more than £23.5million in new affordable homes in Staffordshire by 2016.
“We are in the middle of a national housing shortage that shows little sign of ending and without more new homes being built young people and those on lower incomes will continue to be squeezed out of the property market,” said Karen Armitage.
“We are fully in support of the National Housing Federation’s ‘Yes to Homes’ week. We would urge more local councils to realise the need to say yes to homes – without the partnership and backing of the parish councils we work with we would not be able to develop the volume of homes we are planning.”
With the average house price in Staffordshire being over eight times the average income of local people, SARH and Housing Plus are working in partnership to help families – particularly in rural parishes – remain in their communities, to which they have links to family and work.
SARH is working on plans for 99 homes and Housing Plus potentially providing 115 homes, subject to planning permission. Of these 214 homes, planning permission is being sought for 132 homes in this financial year.
Ursula Bennion, director of business development for Housing Plus, said: “We know there is a dire need for more affordable homes, not only in South Staffordshire but nationally. They are needed to help people stay living near friends and family, as well as to maintain the demand for local shops, schools and other amenities.
“We are committed to working as a partnership to make sure that more homes are built so people are not forced to move away and priced out of affording their own home. We have proved through the developments underway and ones in the pipeline that by working innovatively and in partnership with local parishes it is possible to develop high quality affordable homes to meet housing need.”
Work is already well underway on a development sites in Gnosall, where 30 homes are being developed on a ‘rural exception site’. This is where land that would not normally gain planning permission for housing can be developed for affordable homes where there is a proven local need and will be let to local people with a connection to the Parish.
Residents have also recently moved into six bungalows completed by SARH and Housing Plus at another rural exception site on Monks Walk, in Gnosall.
One family to benefit is Frankie Edmunds and her four children, two of which have been diagnosed with autism. In 2012 the family suffered a major house fire at their previous home in Monks Walk, and they have now moved back to the area to live in one of the new bungalows.
“Our new home is the best possible ending to a very difficult time for me and my family. The most important thing is that my boys now feel safe and secure,” said Frankie.
You can support the need for more affordable housing by saying ‘yes to homes’ and visiting www.yestohomes.co.uk