Spring Kickstart to housing hopes

Media Release : 17 March 2010

A new round of Kickstart funding to help housing developments stalled by the recession will secure nearly 200 much-needed affordable homes in the district and support jobs in the building trade.

As part of an £8 million package for the South East, developments at Battle Road, Hailsham; and Roebuck Park, Hellingly Hospital; are to benefit from  £2 million of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

"These are projects in Wealden that have already been approved, but had stalled because the downturn in the housing market," said Councillor Dick Angel, Cabinet member for Affordable Housing. "We welcome this extra help.  It will enable the developers to provide a range of new homes to meet the differing needs of local people including homes that can be purchased through shared ownership or a shared equity basis, as well as rented from a housing association.

"There are currently over 2,000 households on the Council's housing register seeking affordable housing, and this need has been underlined in a recent Housing Needs Survey undertaken by the Council.  We are helping local residents through a  range of initiatives."

As well as using planning policies to encourage affordable housing Wealden is helping the private sector to provide more rental opportunities and offers  support to homes owners through the  Mortgage Rescue Scheme.  It is also providing dedicated help for young homeless people.

In addition to the Kickstart funding, the Homes & Communities Agency has supported Wealden's partner housing associations, providing £6 million to Orbit Housing Association to help deliver the affordable housing at Roebuck Park and £1.15 million to AffinitySutton to provide the affordable housing at the Battle Road scheme.  The first affordable homes at both schemes are expected to be ready by March 2011.

The affordable rented homes will be let to households on the Council's housing register. The shared ownership and shared equity homes to purchase will be advertised on the Homebuy website (external link).