Council to purchase more affordable housing for rent in Wooler
14 Jan 2021
Northumberland County Council has agreed to purchase four new houses in Wooler which it will rent out at an affordable rate to local people in housing need.
At this week’s cabinet meeting, councillors approved an additional £388,800 from the budget to acquire the two-bedroomed houses that are part of the 72 home Kingsmead development that is to be built next to Wooler Water.
The council has already purchased 7 two-bedroomed bungalows within this Ascent Homes development, making a total of 11 new affordable properties for rent. A further four will be available to eligible buyers at a discounted market value.
The eleven affordable units front onto Weetwood Road and are anticipated to be completed this Autumn 2021.
Northumberland County Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet member with responsibility for community services said:
The new, quality affordable housing will really benefit this rural community. First priority for these homes will be given to local people in housing need who have a close connection to Wooler or its surrounding area.”
The properties will be rented out to those on the county Homefinder waiting list using the rural allocation policy, where preference is given to those who have worked or lived in the parish or the adjoining parish.”
Cllr Riddle added: “The lack of affordable housing is a big challenge facing many people in Northumberland and the county council has made it one of its top priorities to facilitate the delivery of homes for rent, which includes the building of new housing by the council.
“We are looking to support the development of homes for rent, or to acquire affordable housing in both rural and urban areas where there is a proven need.
“Council officers have been working hard to identify potential development sites, working with housing developers to deliver affordable housing through S106 agreements in the planning process and facilitating community led schemes, to support the delivery of affordable housing where it is most needed.”
Through its community led housing fund, the council has also supported The Glendale Gateway Trust with the acquisition and conversion of the former Barclays Bank on Wooler High Street that had been vacant for almost a year. The funding has helped to provide two affordable apartments on the first and second floors while breathing new life into this Grade ll listed, town centre building.