HUNDREDS of affordable new homes are to be built in Huntingdonshire after an additional £16.4million of Government funding was announced this week. The extra cash will pay for 900 new homes to be built by the end of 2011 and brings to £27.25million the to

HUNDREDS of affordable new homes are to be built in Huntingdonshire after an additional £16.4million of Government funding was announced this week.

The extra cash will pay for 900 new homes to be built by the end of 2011 and brings to £27.25million the total investment in affordable homes in the district between 2008 and 2011.

Most of the new money (£11.4million) will be spent at the Loves Farm estate east of St Neots railway station. There is also more than £2million for new eco-homes in Mayfield Road, Hartford, which have already attracted a separate grant of £1.35million from Whitehall.

The extra Homes and Communities Agency money - the result of bids by Huntingdonshire District Council working in partnership with housing associations Bedfordshire-based BPHA and Aldwyck, Circle Anglia and Norfolk-based Flagship - will see additional affordable homes in Kings Lane, St Neots, Riverside Mill, Little Paxton, Yaxley, Burleigh Road, St Ives, Silver St, Godmanchester, and Ullswater and Handcrofts Lane, in Huntingdon.

Some of the extra cash is needed to convert what had been intended as shared-ownership properties to "intermediate rental" status (80 per cent of market rents) for people who can no longer get mortgage finance for the proportion of the value they would previously have borrowed.

Steve Plant, HDC's head of housing services, said: "The development of new affordable housing is one of the council's priorities. The current recession has led to an increase in the numbers of people in need of housing, and more people are struggling to purchase their own home or to rent privately.

"We are delighted that the Homes and Communities Agency will be spending millions of pounds in our district over the next few years. This money will enable our housing association partners to build new homes in high-demand areas and to accelerate development that might otherwise have taken longer to come forward," he added.

"I am particularly pleased that these developments will be spread throughout the district, providing affordable housing in small villages as well as the market towns."

He told The Hunts Post: "We have been fortunate at Loves Farm because all the affordable housing sites were laid out by the developer, Gallagher, but we didn't have the funding to go ahead until now."

Although the last year has been a particularly successful one for HDC's housing department in keeping roofs over people's heads, the number of households applying to join the register had increased by 31 per cent, and there were still 3,000 names on it, he added.

More affordable housing is still needed, and the council will seek to deliver this through the use of planning powers, regeneration projects and partnership working with housing associations, a council spokesman said.