Plans announced for more “affordable” homes in Huntingdonshire

Mayor James Palmer said there is an urgent need for affordable homes. Picture: ARCHANT

Mayor James Palmer said there is an urgent need for affordable homes. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

More than 150 new affordable homes will be built at sites in the district, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has announced.

The homes, at Alconbury Weald and the former RAF Upwood, will be more than half the total of 296 affordable properties unveiled by the authority on five sites in the region.

It said there would be 94 affordable homes, 29 of which would be shared ownership, destined for the Man GPM site at Alconbury Weald, the redeveloped Alconbury airfield, and 64 social rented and shared ownership homes at Evera’s development at RAF Upwood, which is also on a former military airfield.

Mayor James Palmer said: “I am delighted that even in the most challenging of times, we can deliver hundreds of new affordable homes across Peterborough, Huntingdon and the Fens, which are so sorely needed.

“No doubt, the world has been changed by the Covid-19 virus but it hasn’t stopped turning, and we will continue to plan for the future in bringing forward thousands of affordable homes for residents over the coming years.”

Mayor Palmer added: “I am absolutely committed to leading the economic recovery of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Making sure that people have homes they can afford is a fundamental cornerstone to our ambition to build back better.”

The 296 homes means that the authority has passed the three-quarters mark towards meeting its target of creating 2,000 new affordable homes by March 2022.

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They take the total number of affordable properties it is funding up to 1,596, with the money coming from a Government pot of £100m the authority negotiated as part of its devolution deal in 2017.

The five sites where the homes are to be build are in Huntingdonshire, Peterborough and March.

Developers are being encouraged by the combined authority to build affordable homes through a range of measures, such as interest-free loans and joint ventures.

The authority is also looking at innovative ways to maximise the impact of the £100m funding, including using £40m as a ground-breaking “revolving fund” which makes loans to developers for the construction of affordable housing, with the interest on the loans adding to the fund and making it self-sustaining.