Cambridge City Council has signed a number of funding agreements with 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 rent – being built at Orchard Park through Cambridge Investment Partnership, a joint venture between the city council and the Hill Group.

30 of the Orchard Park homes will be council rental homes with another 45 ‘affordable’ rental homes made available at 80 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent of market rental rates others at the full social rental rate – plus four new commercial units

Cllr Gerri Bird, executive councillor for housing at Cambridge City Council 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.”

Lead cabinet member for housing at South Cambridgeshire District Council, 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.”

Image source: Cambridge Investment Partnership

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