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The North East region is doubling their efforts to help end the housing crisis

The nine PlaceShaper members in the region endeavour to build more than 8,500 homes over the next five years. Together, the members aim to create innovative and diverse affordable housing across the North East.

Angela Lockwood, Chief Executive at North Star, said: “The North East might be the smallest region in the country, but it has big ambitions to help resolve the housing crisis and create great places where people want to live. Community and partnership working is second nature and with that comes real success with tangible results. As well as a strong and successful reputation in delivering its housing targets, it frequently goes beyond that by using grant not utilised elsewhere in the country. It steps in quickly and delivers.

“The region has a long and proud tradition of delivering high quality housing regeneration to meet new emerging need and to support the changing economic landscape. The North East has imagination, passion and a strong sense of purpose.

“Along with many housing associations across the region, North Star has ambitious plans to help resolve the housing crisis. We are doubling our annual house build rates across our area of operation and we are increasing the diversity of homes we offer, including more homes for older people.”

North Star has aspirations to build 500 homes in the next five years, providing a mix of home types and tenures. One of North Star’s strengths is building homes for older people on small infill sites or in rural locations where affordability is an issue. As an example, North Star completed a small bungalow scheme in the village of Middleton St George on the outskirts of Darlington. Four of the bungalows were for affordable rent and two were for shared ownership and have proved very popular with applicants. Given the success of this scheme, North Star aims to build a further 12 bungalows in this location, which will take their development pipeline up to 68 homes to be built during 2019.

Beyond Housing is shortly due to complete a scheme in Redcar, with 13 properties for affordable rent becoming available at the Scholars Park development between January and March 2019. Beyond Housing will deliver six additional two-bedroom homes for shared ownership at this scheme. Among its recently completed projects is Beyond Housing’s third independent and supported living scheme in the Redcar and Cleveland borough, The Cliffs in Brotton. The £3m development comprises of 25 bungalows for affordable rent, providing care and support for a variety of needs to enable elderly or vulnerable people to prolong their independence. Four of the bungalows have been further adapted to accommodate families with specific disability needs, allowing their vulnerable residents to be cared for and supported in their own home.

Broadacres Housing Association, in partnership with its contractor Lindum and Homes England, are building 56 new homes. These homes will be allocated to people with a connection in Ryedale, a rural district in North Yorkshire. These new homes will include 36 for affordable rent and 20 for sale through shared ownership.

Bernicia has just launched its five year corporate plan, which includes £70m funding to build at least 500 new homes, with a vision for many more if the opportunity arise. Bernicia is delighted to welcome the first tenants into the new 14 home community development in Witton Road, Hebburn. Kevinson and Elizabeth Onyegbule and their two-year-old son Naeto are the first tenants to accept the keys to their new build two-bedroom home from Sharon Lake, Bernicia’s development programme manager and Peter Fowler, managing director of Able Construction (Northern Ltd) who completed the scheme on behalf of Bernicia. The two and three-bedroom rental properties on the site of an empty former workingmen’s club have proved hugely popular with 140 applications to live in them. The new estate is ideal for young families, situated close to local schools and with excellent transport links to Jarrow and Hebburn town centres.

Sunderland-based Gentoo Group has completed work on its 132-home Hillcrag development in the city. The development, built on brownfield land in the former High Ford estate, comprises two, three and four-bedroom houses plus two-bedroom bungalows and apartments. All of the properties are fitted with PV panels as standard to keep energy bills and the carbon footprint low.

The £14.3 million development received £2.9 million from the Homes and Communities Agency’s affordable homes programme. The development was named ‘best social housing development of the year’ at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Bricks Awards in 2017.

Karbon Homes five year Strong Foundations strategy outlines a number of key aims, including plans to expand the company’s build programme to develop at least 500 high quality new homes every year. Karbon has recently issued £150m in new bonds to support the delivery of its strategy.

Karbon builds homes to buy and for shared ownership, affordable housing, social housing and supported and specialised housing. The landlord says it delivers a balanced programme, with the type of homes built matching the needs and aspirations of the communities it serves.

Karbon also remains committed to continued investment in its existing homes across the North East and Yorkshire, and has committed £180m in planned maintenance over the next ten years to ensure they are fit for the future. A key focus for Karbon currently is building 120 properties on two sites in the Darlington area - one a former school in the east of the town, the other a new opportunity in the village of Middleton St George.

Development work costing £17m in total, has commenced on the homes, with a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes available through Rent to Buy, market sale and Affordable Rent, to serve the differing needs of the local community.

Following its creation 18 months ago, it's exciting times at Castles & Coasts Housing Association. A new Development Strategy aims to double the number of new homes to more than 600 over the next five years.

Castles & Coasts' strategic development focus is to work collaboratively with key partners to contribute towards addressing housing needs across Cumbria and the North East of England - in and around South and North Lakes, Penrith, Carlisle, the West Coast, the Tyne Valley and South Northumberland.

Castles & Coasts is highly experienced and well placed to develop in both urban and rural areas, and has considerable expertise in developments within National Parks. An example of a successful recently completed development is the creation of 13 homes at Crosthwaite, Cumbria, in the Lake District National Park, which has combined homes for open market sale, shared ownership, a Rent to Home Buy model and affordable rent.

Castles & Coasts is currently building another 13 units at Staveley with the same mix of tenures, and will be starting another Lake District National Park rented development later this year in the village of Coniston.

Railway Housing Association is building 73 homes in Darlington in partnership with its contractor Tolent Living, in its biggest development in recent history. This £8m affordable housing development, close to the historic Darlington to Stockton Railway Line, included the conversation of a listed engine shed built in 1844, which has been transformed into seven new two-storey homes. The whole scheme consists of two and three-bedroom houses, two-bedroom bungalows and one-bedroom apartments.

Anne Rowlands, Chief Executive of Railway Housing Association, said: “This is not only one of the biggest schemes in our recent history, but also one of the most exciting.

“We have taken an overgrown area, complete with a derelict graffiti-ridden engine shed, and transformed it into an amazing 73-home development which caters for young and old alike.

“Given its historical significance we worked closely with Darlington Borough Council and the Friends of the 1825 Darlington to Stockton Railway to ensure the development is sympathetic to the heritage of the area, whilst providing much-needed modern, energy efficiency affordable homes for local people.

“Railway Housing Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019 so it is fitting that this development has happened near a site of historic worldwide importance - the world’s first steam powered passenger railway.”

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