County Durham Housing Group has announced fully funded plans to provide an extra 200 affordable homes, on top of its existing new build proposals. The latest £22m investment will take the housing association’s new-build programme up to a total of 545 homes, worth more than £54m.
County Durham Housing Group Chief Executive, Bill Fullen, said: “We’ve all read about just how badly this country needs extra affordable housing. County Durham has its own unique requirements and our new-build programme is designed to make major inroads into meeting them.
“The whole programme focuses on building the right homes in the right places. We’ve already proved how relatively small developments like our recently completed family homes in Pity Me, just outside of Durham, can make a major difference to a community.
“We intend to carry the same ethos into our expanded programme by carefully matching our construction with the needs of each neighbourhood. It’s the only way that we can effectively tackle the housing crisis.”
The new homes are set to be built in communities stretching from the Durham coast to rural Weardale. A number of potential sites are currently under investigation, on top of the 17 existing developments included in phase one of the group’s new-build programme, announced just over a year ago.
All the additional homes are expected to be completed by 2021, regenerating communities and meeting demand for affordable homes. A variety of homes will be built, from wheelchair adaptable bungalows to three-bedroom family houses. The housing needs of each community will be carefully considered before detailed plans are drawn up.
Most of the new homes will be purpose-built on sites owned by the group, with some collaboration with private sector house builders to help secure affordable homes on their developments too.
It is estimated that the expanded programme will create more than 60 additional jobs during construction. A variety of northern-based contractors have already been employed on construction work during the first phase of the programme which has seen tenants move into completed homes in Newton Aycliffe, Bishop Auckland, Rookhope, Pity Me, Chilton Moor, Ushaw Moor and Ouston. The group’s first new build homes in Crook and St Helen Auckland are due to be completed this summer and work is also underway to commence construction by the Autumn on sites in Bowburn, Bishop Auckland, Peterlee and Seaham.