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New ‘affordable’ housing development for rural Northumberland

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New ‘affordable’ housing development for rural Northumberland

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Development

 New affordable housing development for rural Northumberland New affordable housing development for rural Northumberland

A new £550,000 ‘affordable’ property development has just been completed in north Northumberland, happily coinciding with the National Housing Federation’s Rural Housing Week.

Alongside main contractor NB Clark, social landlord Isos has provided homes for six families in Belford – an area where property is very expensive, both to buy and rent.

Isos says the scheme highlights the situation faced by many in rural Northumberland who face having to leave their home area due to “exorbitant housing costs” – eight or nine times the average wage.

According to Isos, Belford is a beautiful rural village but quite isolated, being 16 miles from both Berwick and Alnwick, the nearest towns, and nearly 50 miles from Newcastle, the nearest city.

The new homes comprise of four two-bed and two three-bed properties.

Over the past two years Isos has spent £43 million adding over 400 homes to its portfolio of 12,000 properties, many are in rural areas where the housing shortage is often felt most acutely.

Isos is currently on site elsewhere in Northumberland, building more homes in Hexham and Prudhoe, and is about to start work on a £5m extra care housing scheme in Alnwick.

Vince Walsh, development and regeneration manager with Isos, said: “These are our first homes in the village of Belford and demonstrate our commitment to providing social housing in rural areas.

“The properties benefit from very high levels of insulation – something they will need in north Northumberland – and energy efficient boilers to help keep household bills in check.”

The homes have been let to local families through the Homefinder choice based lettings system.

They are of built of traditional brick and tile construction and meet the Homes and Communities Agency, Secure by Design and Lifetime Homes standards. The latter means they can easily be adapted to meet the changing needs of residents as they get older.

Michael Farr, executive director of property and development with Isos, added: “The UK is simply not building enough homes for those in need, so it's our responsibility to deliver as many new properties as possible to help tackle the shortage.

“In Rural Housing Week, it’s important to remember the vital role that developments like this one in Belford play in keeping villages alive.

“In recent years, Isos has delivered schemes like this one across Northumberland – in villages like Falstone, Lesbury, Beadnell and Chatton.

“They can be the difference between families being able to stay in their communities, and being obliged to move away to find a home they can afford.

“We are operating region wide in both rural and urban communities and would welcome approaches from anyone who has a site where we could build new homes in order to support a healthy pipeline of new projects and bolster our development programme.”

Isos supports both Rural Housing Week, and the National Housing Federation’s ‘Yes to Homes’ campaign, calling for grassroots support to build ‘the right homes, in the right places, at the right price.’

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