September 20 2014 Latest news:
Jon Vale, West Suffolk reporter
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The housing crisis in west Suffolk has been given an £8million boost that will see more than 400 new affordable homes built across the region.
The major funding has been awarded to the Havebury Housing Partnership from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency, as part of its Affordable Homes Programme.
The project will deliver 427 new homes around Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill by 2018. Designs and construction for over 130 of these will begin in the next few months.
Scott Bailey, head of development at Havebury, who submitted the grant application, said: “This is such fantastic news for both the local community and for Havebury.
“This is the first time we have been awarded such a significant grant on our own.”
The EADT reported yesterday that the cost of delivering St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s housing services had soared by around £4million in four years, while around 3,000 people are currently on the council’s social housing waiting list.
St Edmundsbury’s cabinet member for housing, Anne Gower, said: “I am delighted that the Government has recognised our determination to tackle the shortage of affordable housing.
“This council has worked hard with Havebury to prepare ‘ready to go’ affordable housing schemes that belong at the top of the list for funding.
“We are taking direct action with opportunities across the board, and these are just the first of more much needed affordable homes we look forward to delivering.”
Sites that formed part of the bid include seven homes on a garage site at Mitchell Avenue in Bury and 21 homes on the former snooker club site in Haverhill.
A Havebury spokeswoman said it had worked with the relevant local authorities to ensure the schemes proposed in the bid “meet local housing need and are therefore the right size, right location and right type”.
Havebury chief executive Karen Mayhew added: “These new homes will deliver much needed social housing in the area.
“These homes will go some way to transforming the lives of people who have difficulty finding a home of their own.
“Now the real work starts, working with the local community and getting schemes started on site.”
Havebury previously received grant funding as part of a development consortium, made up of housing associations from across Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.
The consortium had received £14m from the Homes and Communities Agency to help build 770 new affordable homes across the region between 2011 and 2015.