New affordable homes help tackle Plymouth’s rising costs of housing

Westward’s two latest affordable housing developments are completing this spring bringing a much needed 29 affordable homes to Plymouth at a time of rising costs of housing.

The new schemes at Langley Crescent, in Southway and Fowlmere, in Ernesettle Green will bring both rent and shared ownership homes to the city.

The brownfield site, off Langley Crescent, in Southway, Plymouth will see 14 homes built in this popular area.

The 14 affordable homes for rent will be four 3-bed houses, eight 2-bed houses and two 2-bed flats and will fit in with the general architectural style with the addition of pitched roofs.

Fowlmere will see 15 homes built on the site of the former Lakeside residential care home. These consist of nine homes for affordable rent with one coach house, six 2-bed homes and two 3-bed homes for rent and six for shared ownership. These properties which consist of three 2-bed and three 3-bed homes for sale are all reserved.

Westward Executive Director for Development and Commercial, Jill Gregg, said: “These two developments are yet again an example of us working with local firms to build houses, so we are also supporting employment in the city.”

The homes are funded through Homes England, built by Eliot Design and Build and designed by Rogers and Jones Architects.

The new homes are being delivered through Plymouth City Council’s Plan for Homes programme which aims to deliver 5,000 homes over the next five years. There are currently around 9,700 households on the housing register in Plymouth.

Statistics from the just released National Housing Federation’s Home Truths 2017/2018 report on housing shows that private rents are on average £583 in Plymouth, which accounts for 36% of monthly salaries of an annual city average of £23,369 a year.

A worker would need a £18,840 pay rise (80%) to £42,209 to get an 80% mortgage on an average property in the city which has risen by almost 3% to £184,665. This is almost eight times average salaries. All these facts add up to the need for more affordable homes being provided by housing associations.

Councillor Steve Ricketts, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Housing Delivery, said: “I am delighted that we are able to work with Westward to bring 29 new homes to Plymouth for families who need them to suit their range of needs. We are committed to making sure that more people in Plymouth have a place that they can call home. We prioritise making better use of brownfield sites and will continue to do so.”

These homes will be marketed on Devon Home Choice for local people in housing need and the Shared Ownership homes will be available through the Help to Buy South West and Westward websites.

Housing associations in the South West built over 4,200 homes in 2016-2017, and started a further 4,100. We are exploring innovative means to solve the housing crisis, including through modern methods of construction.
Nikki Knowles, External Affairs Manager for the National Housing Federation, said: ‘The housing market has seen a relentless rise in the gap between house prices and people’s salaries. Plymouth UA is no exception. Attaining a mortgage is increasingly unrealistic and private sector rents make saving up that bit more difficult.
“As this year’s Home Truths report shows, it is more important than ever for the sector to be able to deliver homes that are truly affordable. If we want to get serious about ending the housing crisis, we need to start looking at unlocking more land so we can build homes faster.”



The homes being completed at Langley Crescent

Westward’s development at Fowlmere, Ernesettle Green