Leading social housing provider Stonewater has celebrated the official opening of 30 brand-new homes at Banbury Road in Deddington for local people struggling to find affordable homes in the area.
The new Stonewater homes are helping to meet a housing crisis in rural villages and towns where only eight per cent of housing is affordable compared with 20 per cent in main urban centres.
Working together with housebuilder David Wilson Homes and Cherwell District Council, Stonewater has delivered a mix of 20 one-, two- and three-bedroom houses and one one-bedroom bungalow, all for affordable rent. Also available are nine two- and three-bedroom houses for shared ownership.
Priority in allocating the new affordable homes will be given to those who already have a connection to the local area.
“At a time when the average person in the Cherwell district would need a 153% pay rise to afford an average home 3 , more and more young people and families who have grown up in the town are finding themselves forced to move away to find a home they can afford,” says Chris Montague, Stonewater Assistant Director of Development, East. “Locals looking to rent are also being priced out, with the average rent eating up well over a third (37% 2 ) of their earnings. This has a devastating impact on the sustainability of town shops and local services which is evidenced by the closure of 31 post offices across the region in the past five years and 217 pubs closures between 2013 and 2016.
“These new affordable homes at Banbury Road are a great example of how housing associations can work together with developers and local authorities to tackle this problem, through building good quality homes that local people can truly afford. These homes however, have to be the right type of housing, in the right location, to stimulate growth, diversity and long-term prosperity.”
Stonewater’s new homes come as part of David Wilson Homes’ 85-home development, Deddington Grange. The smart new development is just a five-minute walk from Deddington High Street and local shops, and will feature a children’s play park.
Monica Burns, External Affairs Manager for rural housing at the National Housing Federation, says: “Far too few homes are being built for local people and villages are dying as a result. Young people are moving to cities and often house prices are rocketing. Right across rural England, schools are shutting their doors to pupils. Post offices, which provide vital community services, are closing at a similar rate and countless pubs are serving their last ever orders to locals.
“It’s therefore very welcome news that housing associations like Stonewater are stemming this tide by building the new homes local people desperately need.”