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A £1.5 million investment boost will lead to new homes being built in the North East.
Riverside, a social housing provider, has been granted over £1.5 million by the Homes and Communities Agency to help create properties in the North East area and in Yorkshire.
Riverside, which has a Gateshead base, plans to use the funding for a three-year project to build a total of 74 new properties, including 26 homes aimed at first time buyers who want to join a shared home ownership scheme. There will be a further 48 homes created to be rented out at an affordable rate.
The North East and Yorkshire project is part of a wider commitment by the company to create 664 residential properties across Britain.
Riverside’s chief executive, Carol Matthews, said the company was ‘delighted’ to have been given the funding to create new homes in the North East and Yorkshire. She added that Riverside also hoped that this funding commitment from the Homes and Communities Agency signalled the start of a trend which would see more and more government money being ploughed into the creation of new homes. She said this was needed to address the problem of housing shortages across Britain and to stimulate the construction industry and the UK economy as a whole.
Riverside’s allocation of 664 homes is part of a huge government programme, which is being managed by the Homes and Communities Agency. The first phase of the 2015-2018 initiative should see the creation of 43,821 new homes, supported by government funding of ?886 million. This will be achieved through 2,697 schemes operating across the UK.
Overall, the agency’s £1.7 billion investment aims to deliver a total of 165,000 affordable new homes over a three-year period.
Most of the properties created will be made available to people needing an ‘affordable rent’ home, although, as demonstrated by the plans in the North East and Yorkshire, there will also be the creation of some properties with shared ownership in mind. The Homes and Communities Agency said that this would depend on the particular needs of the areas involved.
The national project aims to meet a wide range of housing needs, from general properties to specialist homes such as supported housing. This is due to a commitment by the Homes and Communities Agency to work to meet the requirement of all members of society, including vulnerable people and older community members with additional or specialist needs.
At the moment, the Riverside company manages around 50,000 homes across the country, turning over £257 million and employing in the region of 2,600 staff.
One of the company’s most recent projects is a new home development in Stanhope in Weardale, County Durham. The Partner Construction-built development at East End features three and two-bedroomed houses and two-bedroomed bungalows.
The company aims to complete the project by October 2014 and is currently advertising the properties for those people wanting to live in the picturesque town. Riverside has vowed to give priority to those people with existing connections to the area when considering applications.