South Oxfordshire District Council have awarded grant funding of more than £450,000 towards the cost of building 4 new affordable dwellings in Henley.
The funding came from developer contributions (S106) and has gone to the Henley and District Housing Trust to develop properties for social rent. The housing trust has been given 50% of the cost of creating these new homes, which will also be fitted with solar panels to reduce their carbon footprint. The plan is to develop 2 x two-bedroomed properties in Greys Green and convert a third property into 2 x one-bedroomed flats in Leaver Road.
Planning consent has been obtained by the trust and work has already started on two properties which are situated next to five existing cottages within the trust’s ownership at School Cottages, Greys Green.
Linda Collison, CEO of The Henley and District Housing Trust said, “The Trust is a 90 year old, not-for-profit, Registered Housing Association, which began in 1929 with Henley ‘Borough’ Council as a project to solve housing problems in Henley. The Henley Mayor still sits on the Management Committee. We have grown steadily over the years by donations of land and properties or by ‘saving-up’ to buy; but sadly cannot keep up with the demand for affordable rented homes. (We receive approximately one new application each week; but are only able to help two each year). We are extremely grateful to SODC for the grant which will help finance the development of four new homes.
Rents on all the properties will be charged at Social Rent levels – these are calculated using a government formula based on relative property values and relative local earnings. They normally fall significantly below Affordable Rent levels, which can be up to 80 per cent of prevailing market rents in a given area. Social Rent ensures that rents are as affordable as possible in an area of very high market values.
There is significant demand for affordable housing in the Henley on Thames area, with 338 households on the council’s housing register stating Henley as their first preference.
Cllr Robin Bennett, South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, said: “It is great news that the council is able to put contributions from developers back into providing truly affordable housing in the Henley area, which desperately needs more homes like these. Providing homes that people can afford is a key goal for our administration. We are keen to encourage and fund more schemes like this using our Section 106 affordable housing fund and will be reopening it for applications soon.”