Affordable homes boost for borough

MORE than £7 million of funding will be spent on nearly 180 affordable homes in Colchester, it has been revealed.The town has secured £7.1 million of funding from the Government's Housing Corporation which will be used to for new affordable homes during 2006 to 2008.

MORE than £7 million of funding will be spent on nearly 180 affordable homes in Colchester, it has been revealed.

The town has secured £7.1 million of funding from the Government's Housing Corporation which will be used to for new affordable homes during 2006 to 2008.

The money means 173 new homes will be built in partnership with housing associations and registered social landlords.

The allocation of funds is more than nine times what was given to Colchester Borough Council for the past two years.


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About 95% of the development will be affordable rented homes, meeting the borough's highest priority housing need.

The council said the changes would help tackle homelessness in the borough, create mixed, sustainable communities and add to what it claims is the town's “renaissance”.

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The funding will be used for a variety of projects across the borough, ranging from small rural and supported housing developments to larger general needs housing schemes.

Sue Beecroft, housing planning and development manager, said: “This is fantastic news for Colchester and the people who live here.

“As a council we have recognised there is a real need for more affordable housing in the borough and securing this funding helps us take real steps forward in securing more homes.

“By working closely with a variety of housing associations, we are confident the homes will be built to a high standard following the Housing Corporation's design standards, and will be well managed to make sure people have access to good quality, secure and affordable homes now and in the future.”

In addition to this funding, there are plans to develop more than 200 affordable homes in the borough over the next couple of years through “planning gain”.

Planning gain is sought as part of the developer's contribution to meeting housing need where they are developing larger sites, and does not use public subsidy.

Colchester is part of a housing sub-region known as the Greater Haven Gateway. This is a group of eight local authorities working together to address housing issues and bid for various funding.

It is made up of Babergh, Braintree, Colchester, Ipswich, Maldon, Suffolk Coastal, Mid Suffolk and Tendring district and borough councils. In total the sub-region has secured £30.4 million funding to deliver 939 homes.

Similar schemes planned across the country aim to develop 84,000 homes by 2008.

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