Target of 1,000 homes reached, says authority

The new affordable homes in Embleton.
The new affordable homes in Embleton.

Northumberland County Council is set to accelerate the delivery of a new era of affordable housing through Arch Homes.

And the local authority says that this means the creation of affordable homes has been taken beyond the 1,000 originally promised by the Labour administration.

Arch has acquired new-build residential properties across the market towns of Northumberland, comprising 54 affordable homes.

These family homes will be made available for affordable rent and offer a range of house styles from semi-detached two and three-bedroom houses to townhouses and apartments.

The locations include Alnwick, Amble, Morpeth, Blyth and Ashington.

Coun Allan Hepple, the council’s cabinet member for economic development and housing, said: “We’ve got ambitious plans to deliver thousands of affordable homes across the county over the coming years and it’s great we’ve reached our first milestone of 1,000 homes.

“The additions to the Arch portfolio help us achieve a wider mix of properties. These homes aren’t just bricks-and-mortar investments, they’re homes for families across Northumberland.”

There is a strong demand for affordable housing where town centre rents are rising and Northumberland County Council recognises that increasing house prices and the failure of income rises to keep pace with these has contributed to more local people finding it difficult to access decent and affordable housing.

Coun Dave Ledger, chairman of Arch Group, said: “The affordable-housing programme is significant as it enhances the council’s standing as a provider of affordable homes in the county and an authority seeking innovative solutions to meet increasing demand. Providing affordable housing is a high priority for the council in both the rural and urban communities. We must maximise opportunities, increasing the supply of good-quality affordable housing, ensuring our communities are sustainable and thrive.

“Arch are experienced developers and landlords and we are delighted to provide much-needed affordable housing in Northumberland. These homes will provide a wide range of accommodation and a variety of affordable housing tenures built to exacting standards. Arch Homes is the biggest private landlord in the county and will bring its skills and experience to this new and developing portfolio of affordable homes.”