The properties which were built on land transferred from the council and although owned by Johnnie Johnson Housing will be accessible via the Home Options System – so whilst not quite new council housing they will be available (when next empty) to folk on the council’s waiting list.
The 16 properties have all achieved the level 3 of the code for sustainable homes, and include features such as solar panels, heat recovery systems and grey rainwater recycling systems.
The total cost of the scheme was £1.6 million and included grant funding from the homes and communities agency of £670,000 and has left a mix of properties including a two bedroom wheelchair-adapted bungalow, 2 bedroom houses and a number of 1 / 2 bed apartments of which 4 will be offered for sale on a shared ownership basis.
The opening coincided with the annual general meeting of Johnnie Johnson Housing which was taking place in New Mills Town Hall, so in addition to myself, Cllr Caitlin Bisknell (leader of the council) and Cllr Parvin (Chair of Chair of the Community Select Committee), and several members of the Johnnie Johnson Housing board including Chair Kath Lavery (a former Hull councillor) the opening also included a much newer resident of New Mills, with Joseph the two week old son of new residents Sarah Webb and Matt Turnock taking part in proceedings.
Now whilst it would be great if the council had the resources to be able to consider building new council housing itself, the reality (especially with the amendments made to HRA reform by the current Tory led government) at least in the next few years is that if we want to get more affordable housing in the High Peak, it will be by having strong partnership arrangements in place with housing associations like Johnnie Johnson, who at least for now may have better access to some of the funding streams available.
Photo’s of the event will follow later, but if you would like more information on the shared ownership properties you can contact Astra Living on 0845 600 1767