New financial support will lead to new affordable homes in Ashford

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis today gave the green light to a new deal that will lead to new affordable homes in Ashford.

The homes will form part of a 61-home development in the Charing area.

Under the terms of the agreement, Brandon Lewis granted permission to Ashford Borough Council to borrow £1.4million through the Housing Revenue Account borrowing programme.

By doing this, the council will be able to work with developer Ward Homes on getting the new homes built – 21 of the 61 homes planned will be funded through this borrowing and will be available for affordable rent. Work is expected to start on the new homes in Spring 2015, and to be completed by March 2016.

The new homes will be of significant benefit to communities in Ashford, and could help halve the numbers of families that are currently on the local waiting list and looking to live in Charing.

This comes on top of the 390 homes already completed in Ashford, through the government’s Affordable Homes Programme.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

“I am pleased to agree this borrowing with Ashford Council, which will lead to 21 new affordable homes to rent for the local community.

“This is one of a number of measures we’re taking to build new affordable homes across the country, with 390 affordable homes delivered in Ashford thanks to our dedicated programme.

“I look forward to seeing for myself the work started, which can help families currently on waiting lists to settle into stable, affordable homes in their local area.”

Member of Parliament for Ashford Damian Green said:

“I am delighted to see the government supporting sensitive housing development here. This is an important development for Charing and points the way forward for affordable housing throughout Ashford.”

Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing, Cllr Aline Hicks, said:

“We are delighted by the announcement from the Department for Communities and Local Government. Rural homes not only enable people to remain where they live, work and where their support networks are, but they give rural communities a chance to thrive. Of these new properties, eight will be shared ownership. This is exciting for us as it is the first time we have purchased and managed this tenure type as part of our wider portfolio.”

Cllr Gerry Clarkson is Leader of Ashford Borough Council and the ward member for Charing said:

“Sensible, quality development can lead to economic growth and even breathe new life into a community. Charing will certainly benefit from this mixed tenure development.

“We firmly believe that we lead the way in the county with the provision of new affordable homes and this announcement is further demonstration that our record of delivery is recognised at the highest level.”

Chairman of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership Peter Jones, said:

“We welcome this joint working between Ashford Borough Council and DCLG to support local housing numbers and to bring forward much needed housing development.

“SELEP is pleased to assist Ashford Borough Council in achieving their local housing ambitions and we welcome this approach to build quality homes, which support local economic growth.

“Ashford Borough Council is leading by example in attracting private and public investment to accelerate growth and to increase the attractiveness of area. Building communities with a sense of place and belonging will ensure the return on this shared investment will be even greater.”

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