£5.1m Stansted development will provide homes ‘for local people’

UDC leader Jim Ketteridge, Jess Clarke and Home Group board member Nick Salisbury

UDC leader Jim Ketteridge, Jess Clarke and Home Group board member Nick Salisbury - Credit: Archant

A MULTI million pound development providing social and affordable housing has been officially unveiled.

Home Group board member Nick Salisbury chats with Jess Clarke in her kitchen

Home Group board member Nick Salisbury chats with Jess Clarke in her kitchen - Credit: Archant

Home Group has showcased 51 new properties which will “provide homes for people who want to live in a sought after area”.

The £5.1m development at Stansted Mountfitchet, has seen Home Group, one of the UK’s largest social housing providers, build 36 rental homes for people on social housing waiting lists.

The development also includes 15 shared ownership properties for those struggling to get onto the housing ladder.

Nick Salisbury, Home Group board member and Cllr Jim Ketteridge, leader of Uttlesford District Council, toured the homes and met with residents on Monday (April 8).

Among them was 27-year-old Jess Clarke who rents a four-bedroom home. The mother-of-four said: “I really enjoy living here. We had been living in a three-bedroom house which was quite cramped.

“I had been looking for a four bedroom home but there aren’t many around so I’m really pleased Home Group made this available.

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“The house is lovely and warm and very spacious. It’s really improved our quality of life.”

The average cost of a home in Uttlesford is £328,309. The average salary needed for a 75 per cent mortgage is £70,352. The actual average salary is just £23,899 – meaning many people have little prospect of owning a home.

All the homes are built to be highly energy efficient and come with electricity producing solar panels.

Mr Salisbury and Cllr Ketteridge also met 28-year-old mother-of-two Lizzy Jackson. Lizzy and her partner Karl Graham have bought one of the three-bedroom shared ownership properties after previously living in privately rented accommodation.

Lizzy said: “We really enjoy living here. We’ve bought 36 per cent of the home and we rent the rest but as time goes on we can increase our share.

“We’re paying less each month buying through shared ownership than we were in our rented home. We’re really pleased that a scheme like this was available.

“Our home is close to the local school which is really handy and the house itself is lovely. It’s really warm, modern and light.”

Mr Salisbury said: “Home Group is a not-for-profit housing provider and our primary aim is to provide social housing and affordable homes for people to live in. Speaking with Lizzy and Jess and learning about how life for them and their young families has improved since moving here is a reminder of the difference quality housing can make to people.”

The scheme is the second development Home Group has built in Uttlesford. Cllr Ketteridge said: “I’ve been very impressed with the quality of these homes. The residents I have spoken with are very happy in their new homes and I’m sure they will enjoy living here for years to come.

“These homes will help to meet demand for social housing in the area and the shared ownership homes will help those who want to get onto the property ladder.”

The homes were built for Home Group by developer Croudace Homes. Garry Rapson, building director said: “We’ve worked with Home Group for a number of years and we feel it’s a very strong partnership.

“We stand for the same values which are building high quality homes to create strong and vibrant communities. These are homes which we ourselves would be pleased to live.

“We’ve provided training opportunities for five apprentices on this development and that helping people access employment and training is something which is very important to both companies.”