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South West Wiltshire Liberal Democrats

Somer Housing to deliver 'affordable' homes in Wiltshire

December 2, 2011 5:44 PM
By HCA release

More than 470 new affordable homes are to be delivered in Bath, Bristol and surrounding areas as part of a four-year agreement between the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Somer Housing Group.

The HCA has agreed a contract with Somer Housing Group which will see it deliver a total of 472 new homes across Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire. This will be supported by investment of £10m from the HCA.

The agreement is part of the HCA's Affordable Homes Programme, which is set to deliver 80,000 new affordable homes across England by 2015. It will make a major impact on affordable housing provision across the counties, where average house prices have been recorded as being more than 11 times the average local salary in some areas.

While some of the investment will support new homes on identified sites, around 350 homes will be provided on locations that are to be agreed as part of the four-year programme.

The investment will enable Somer Housing Group to deliver new homes in:

  • The West of England (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) - 414 homes, of which at least 171 will be delivered in B&NES.
  • Wiltshire - 52 homes.
  • Taunton - six homes.

Colin Molton, HCA executive director for the South and South West, said:

"This agreement is great news as it will see much needed new homes delivered in the West of England, Wiltshire and Somerset and make a significant difference to the local communities in which we work.

"Our local teams have worked closely with Somer Housing Group over recent months to ensure that its programme brings the maximum benefit for local people. But in many ways, the hard work starts now - and we will be focused on ensuring that people in Bath, Bristol and the surrounding areas see the benefits of our investment over the next four years."

Mike Grist, Somer Housing Group's Director of Business Development, said:

"At Somer Housing Group we have a strong tradition of providing low-cost, high quality homes for local people, with over 300 new homes built last year alone. We are delighted with this major investment from the HCA which will enable us to continue to deliver much-needed affordable homes in and around the West of England, and also recognises our leading role as a provider of affordable homes across the region."

Across the HCA's South and South West operational area, the Affordable Homes Programme will deliver more than £240m in investment to help build more than 12,700 new homes over the next four years. Successful bidders for the Affordable Homes Programme were announced on 14 July this year. This programme is being delivered alongside the HCA's management of former Regional Development Agency-owned sites and its continuing work with local authorities to support their priority projects.