CAMBRIDGE City Council has signed a number of funding agreements with the government’s housing and regeneration agency, Homes England, to help provide new council homes and affordable rental homes aimed at people on low or middle incomes.
The largest of these agreements will provide funding for 75 new homes – a mix of council rental and affordable rental – being built at Orchard Park through Cambridge Investment Partnership, in the north of Cambridge, within the South Cambridgeshire District Council area.
30 of the Orchard Park homes will be council rental homes with another 45 ‘affordable’ rental homes made available at 80% of the average private rental rate in Cambridge, and with Cambridge City Council as landlord.
It is hoped that the homes for let at 80% of market rental rates will appeal to residents who have traditionally found it difficult to find secure, long-term homes in the Cambridge area. This would include some of the many people who do not qualify for full council rent homes, but struggle with private rental rates locally, and are unable to afford to buy homes in the current property market.
In addition to Orchard Park, agreements have now been made with Homes England to help fund the following developments:
- Borrowdale (Arbury ward) – where three new council homes are being built
- Fen Road (East Chesterton) – 12 new ‘Passivhaus’ council homes
- Ditton Fields (Abbey) – six new council homes
- Colville Phase 3 (Cherry Hinton) – 48 new council homes – including some at 80% of market rental rates others at the full social rental rate - plus four new commercial units
Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “We are delighted to have entered into agreement with Homes England, and we look forward to expanding the developments being delivered together as we build on the success of our programme so far to provide more much-needed new council and affordable rental homes for Cambridge residents.
“By offering a larger number of houses for tenants at a reduced rental rate, we will be enabling more people on lower incomes, including key workers, to enjoy high-quality, and sustainable places to live with the long term security which they may not be able to find elsewhere.”
South Cambridgeshire District Council's Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Batchelor, said: “We are grateful to Cambridge City Council and Homes England for this investment into Greater Cambridge. The scheme at Orchard Park will provide further affordable housing in a key area, with excellent walking, cycling and public transport links. We look forward to working with the city council on this project."
These new council rental homes form part of the extensive council house building programme in Cambridge through Cambridge Investment Partnership, which has seen more than 700 either already completed since 2017 or currently on site and being built.
- Given the location of the Orchard Park ‘L2’ site purely in South Cambridgeshire, but on the edge of the city of Cambridge, the lettings arrangements for this scheme will be 50% nomination by South Cambridgeshire District Council and the other 50% for Cambridge City. This is in line with the approved Greater Cambridge Housing Strategy 2019-23 which states that Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire “Agree Local Lettings Plans for the affordable housing on large S106 urban fringe sites and major strategic sites and share those affordable housing allocations between Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.”
- For more on Cambridge City Council’s affordable housing programme visit www.cambridge.gov.uk/affordable-housing-programme