Council supporting housing providers to create affordable homes in St Helens

New affordable rented homes and means of affordable ownership are being built in St Helens, as the council works to strengthen partnerships with housing providers and maximise use of Homes England funding.

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 4:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 4:33 pm
Councillor Jeanie Bell (second from left) visits Abbotsfield new affordable homes at Abbotsfield, with council housing officers and Livv Housing representatives.

Livv Housing Group are among the registered housing providers offering a range of quality and accessible housing options in the borough, demonstrated during a recent home visit to their new properties by the council’s housing officers and Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities.

Abbotsfield in Bold is providing 22 Shared Ownership homes, while a site on Marshalls Cross Road will offer 20 houses and 12 cottage style apartments – all at affordable rents.

The council is focused on maximising use of Homes England funding in the borough. Registered housing providers like Livv Housing Group submit schemes for affordable housing to Homes England and request grant funding based on the number of homes they propose to build.

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While some providers have Strategic Partner status with Homes England – for example Torus, Onward and Riverside, with whom grant rates are agreed in advance – other providers apply for funding on a site-by-site basis and engage with local authorities to ensure their support.

The council is working closely with registered providers of housing to strengthen relationships to ensure the right properties are built that meet people’s needs, with affordable rent and affordable home ownership forming part of the development.

In recent years, newer models of affordable housing have been introduced to help people onto the property ladder, including shared ownership and rent to buy models, as well as the introduction of affordable rented housing – with the council wanting to achieve a good mix of both.

Councillor Bell, said: “Livv Housing Group’s properties at Abbotsfield and Marshalls Cross Road challenge common misconceptions about how affordable housing can be presented, and how they can be integrated into our neighbourhoods in a way that ultimately strengthens our communities.

“And next year we hope to adopt our emerging housing strategy, built around one guiding principle and supported by our work with housing providers – quality and accessible homes for all.”

Howard Roberts, Executive Director at Livv Housing Group said: “We’re keen to give people the opportunity to own their own home and are excited to bring affordable housing options to St Helens.

“Our development at Abbotsfield offers a modern collection of two and three bedroom homes available on a shared ownership basis and our properties on Marshalls Cross Road are available at affordable rent.

“Both developments are proving to be extremely popular with just three of our properties currently left for sale at Abbotsfield.”

For more information about Livv Homes developments visit www.livvhomes.com