New homes for Kingham residents
A new development of 10 affordable homes for local people in rural Kingham has been backed by West Oxfordshire District Council.
Sovereign Housing Association is close to completing work on the properties which will only be available to local residents who are otherwise priced out of the area.
The development is a key example of success during Rural Housing Week (3-7 July) which is designed to highlight rural housing issues and showcase housing associations' innovative ways of tackling them.
The new homes have been built on land previously owned by West Oxfordshire District Council. Formerly a domestic garden area, the land was transferred to Sovereign as part of a land assembly deal last summer and subject to a Section 106 agreement. Development started last autumn.
The properties, which will all be let at an affordable rent, comprise two 1-bedroom apartments, four 2-bed houses and four 3-bed houses.
Stuart Roberts, Head of Development at Sovereign, said: “The development at Kingham is a great example of collaborative working between the Local Authority, Parish Councils and the local community which has helped deliver 10 much needed affordable properties to help meet local housing need.”
Councillor Colin Dingwall, Cabinet Member for Housing at West Oxfordshire District Council, added: “Providing affordable housing for local people helps families, builds communities and is vital for the success of our economy.
“This development is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by working collaboratively and I look forward to welcoming the new tenants.”
The section 106 agreement attached to the planning permission means the new homes are only available to residents with a local connection to Kingham. They must already work or live in Kingham, or have family members living there to be eligible.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) recently identified strong support for new housing in rural England. Almost two-thirds (65%) of rural residents back new homes in their area if they are affordable to local people on average incomes.
David Orr, chief executive of the NHF, said: “Far too few homes are being built for local people across rural England and communities are disappearing as a result.
“Housing associations like Sovereign are a key part of the solution to the rural housing crisis. They are a great example of how, with the right support, housing associations can build the homes local people and their rural communities so desperately need.
“I’m delighted that Rural Housing Week is shining a spotlight on the innovation of housing associations like Sovereign.”
In partnership with West Oxfordshire District Council, the latest development at Kingham is expected to complete in October 2017.