£30 million to build 300 homes at 14 locations
By Andrew Merrell | 4th July 2019
A house-builder from Gloucestershire has revealed it is investing £30 million to build more than 300 homes.
According to the business it will target 14 different locations aiming to build 100 homes a year as it bids to tackle what it calls a "local and national shortage".
Newent-based Two Rivers Housing, which describes itself as an affordable housing provider, will spread the homes throughout Gloucester, the Forest of Dean, Tewkesbury and Stroud.
It will also make in-roads into the Cotswolds, a new area for Two Rivers, as it aims to "make affordable living possible across the county".
"This is a beautiful part of the country to live and work, but we need to increase the number and choice of affordable properties available," said Angharad Hodge, development manager at Two Rivers (pictured centre), who made the announcement to coincide with Rural Housing Week (July 1-5).
"This will help people to stay in the villages where they were brought up, and retain their connections with work, family and friends, thereby maintaining crucial social support networks.
"It will also sustain smaller, rural communities through school attendances, employment and trade for our shops, as well as leading to improvements in the wider infrastructure of transport networks and health services.
"There is a limit to the number of affordable homes being built in rural areas, and Two Rivers is helping to keep these communities alive by giving people that chance."
According to figures from the National Housing Federation's 'Home Truths' report house prices in Gloucestershire are keeping pace with the national average of £300,000.
Which means buyers need an income of £68,000 to qualify for an 80 per cent mortgage. The mean annual earnings for people living in the county are less than £28,500. Which brings us on to why the rental market remains important for many.
Renting privately will set the average household back nearly £800 a month. Which explains why many join the waiting for a lower-cost housing association or local authority home.
At the moment, there are 30,800 'affordable' homes to rent in the county - 5,000 of which are in the Forest of Dean, but with demand outstripping supply, according to Two Rivers Housing.
Of the 14 locations where the company is currently building, four of these are classed as 'rural': Standish, Staunton (Gloucester), Toddington and Willersey. The schemes offer a total of 46 homes for affordable rent or Shared Ownership.
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