HOUSING chiefs in Bolton have used the unveiling of a shared ownership development as the setting to pledge a joint commitment to increase the supply and choice of “affordable” homes in the borough.
Council leaders joined representatives from Bolton at Home (BaH) to take a first-hand look at the new Park Grove development currently being built off Cricketers Way in Westhoughton. It offers 21 two- and three-bedroom homes under the shared ownership model, six of which have already sold.
There, they used to occasion to co-sign a memorandum of understanding, which sets out their intention to work together to increase housing supply and improve existing homes.
The memorandum was signed by leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Linda Thomas, and executive cabinet member for strategic housing and planning, Councillor Martin Donaghy; and Jon Lord, group chief executive of BaH.
The housing association said the agreement will support its ambition to bring 1,400 new properties to the local “affordable” housing market over the next five years. This is alongside investing a minimum of £19 million annually in refurbishing its housing stock of approximately 18,000 homes and delivering neighbourhood regeneration.
It aims to provide more homes through a mixture of its own new-build developments and the acquisition of homes from private sector developers and other providers.
“Park Grove is our first new-build shared-ownership scheme and it recognises people want choice in affordable housing, whether it’s working towards owning your own home or renting a property at a rate you can afford,” said Lord.
“We will reinvest the money we secure through shared ownership sales into our housing stock as a whole and regeneration projects that benefit our customers and communities more widely.
“We plan to provide shared ownership options in other areas of Bolton, which will complement our plans to develop more new-build schemes for affordable rent and supported housing.”
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Linda Thomas, said: “While we already work closely with Bolton at Home, the agreement we’ve signed will ensure our aspirations to deliver housing growth and regenerate communities remain aligned.
“The new homes at Park Grove look fantastic and offer a great opportunity for local people to get on the housing ladder in a more affordable way.
“This is the council and its partners taking the lead on dealing with the housing crisis to provide homes local people can afford.”