Providing affordable home ownership in rural areas
As part of Shared Ownership Week, we spoke to Jo Hill, Assistant Director of Development and Sales about the importance of shared ownership homes in rural areas. Here's what Jo had to say:
"It’s a widely recognised fact that as rural property prices have continued to rise, local people have effectively been priced out of the areas they grew up in. Affordable housing is limited in more rural environments, and those on a lower income are finding it almost impossible to stay in a place where they have a local connection.
"The shared ownership model opens up greater opportunity for people to get on to the housing ladder, in the area they want to live, where they are settled and likely have family connections.
"At NCHA we look to build affordable homes, for both rent and shared ownership, where there is an identified need. But building in rural areas is not without its complications.
"Finding rural sites, in areas of need, is not difficult, and we work closely with rural housing enablers, sit on rural housing forums and work collaboratively with local authorities. But the legalities and planning processes involved in these developments can be a long and complicated process.
"Building in rural areas, is a fine balance to provide vital homes, whilst considering existing communities and protecting our natural environments. And we’re very mindful to get that balance right."
One such current scheme is 19 new homes on the edge of the village of Walesby, near Newark in Nottinghamshire. The development has been specifically planned to accommodate local need. A mix of housing types, 11 of the homes are two-bed bungalows, a scarcity in the area. The five sold through shared ownership will give priority to those with a local connection.
Mindful to protect the local environment, the homes have been designed to achieve SAP A rating to reduce costs for the residents and minimise carbon emissions. PV panels and car charging points have been built in and a large green space has been incorporated into the design. A footpath has also been laid through the site, to provide safe off-road access to the local school and reduce car traffic.
At NCHA we have delivered approximately 1600 shared ownership homes, and we continue to develop new homes of all tenures as part of our strategic partnership with Homes England.