Felixstowe: Self-build venture to help people on to property ladder

Left to Right: Mike Deacon, Mayor of Felixstowe, Martin Bennett, Chairman Orwell Housing Association

Left to Right: Mike Deacon, Mayor of Felixstowe, Martin Bennett, Chairman Orwell Housing Association, Therese Coffey, MP, Suffolk Coastal, Wendy Evans-Hendrick, Director of Development and Property Services, Orwell Housing Association, Stephen Baker,CEO Suffolk Coastal District Council at the self-build project launch at the Royal British Legion in Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

A NEW scheme is being launched to help people get on the housing ladder – with them building part of their own home.

Orwell Housing Association is to use an area of land in Philip Avenue, Felixstowe, for a unique shared ownership, self-build development.

Once an area of overgrown scrub land and allotments, the site will be transformed with 10 affordable homes, four of them self-build projects.

Orwell Housing Association will build the houses to the structure – shell – stage, making the property watertight. The self-builders will then have a choice of stages that they can complete themselves.

The more they complete the more equity they will earn in the property. Self-builders will be able to earn as much as a 25% equity share in their home or as little as a 5% depending on what skills they have to complete the works.

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Wendy Evans-Hendrick, director of development and property services at Orwell Housing Association, said: “Housing associations have the resources, staff and experience to support such schemes. The difficulty people now encounter in trying to find an affordable mortgage with a low deposit requirement has severely affected people’s ability to buy their own home.

“At Orwell we are committed to finding innovative ways to provide both affordable rented housing and affordable, low-cost home ownership options.

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“The scheme in Philip Avenue is an example of this and will provide a mixture of rental and shared ownership, self-build homes on the site.”

It is the first self-build project the association, which is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, has undertaken.

She added: “The scheme is ideal for those stuck in the private rental spiral, it gives you the opportunity to earn a share in your own home and at the same time helping build your own property.

“The scheme is ideal for those who can’t afford to pay out a large deposit required to obtain a mortgage and struggling to get on the property ladder.”

The development will also include the creation of a footpath link and landscaped open space.

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