£1.4m deal signed to build affordable homes in Downend

merlinMerlin Housing Society has signed a £1.4m contract to deliver 11 much needed affordable homes in Downend.

The development of family homes and one-bed flats on the site of the former Blackhorse Day Centre is part of plans the housing association has to build more than 200 new homes within a 20-mile radius of its headquarters in Chipping Sodbury by 2015.

Merlin’s development manager Peter Crouch said: “We’re delighted to be working with developer Cotswold Homes to build affordable homes in the area.

“Houses for families are in short supply, as are one-bed properties for those being hit by bedroom tax. We hope this development will help ease demand for these types of properties in this area.”

Statistics released by the National Housing Federation this week as part of their Home Truths campaign reveal that house prices are predicted to increase by 37% in the Bristol area by 2020. Rental prices could go up by 43%.

“Two of the houses will be available for shared ownership, giving first-time buyers an opportunity own 40% of their own home and get a foot on the property ladder,” said Mr Crouch.

Merlin is taking forward Cotswold Homes’ Section 106 affordable housing element, which requires 35% of new development to be made available for affordable tenures.

The homes will be available through South Gloucestershire Council’s Homechoice service.