Stepping up to build more homes

Two Rivers Housing’s new home building programme is part of 88,000 being built across the country by PlaceShapers in the next five years.

PlaceShapers is a national network of more than 100 community-focused housing associations. Its new We Build report sets out the increasing contribution that members have made – and will make – to solving the housing crisis.

In the next five years Two Rivers will build 470 homes. This will help towards the target of 50,000 homes needed in Gloucestershire before 2030, to address the county’s housing shortage.

Garry King, Chief Executive, said: “As a PlaceShaper, we build affordable homes that respond to local need. Our homes are more than bricks and mortar. Our homes build and shape communities, particularly in rural areas where they help to support schools, health services, shops and other amenities.

“Research carried out by Gloucestershire Homes and Communities Partnership last year showed that we need to build another 50,000 homes of all types and tenures in the county over the next 12 years to meet demand. This is a major challenge but we’re determined to do what we can to help people who want to put a roof over their heads.”

We Build was launched at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference today (Tuesday 27 June). We Build shows that:

  • PlaceShapers will complete 88,000 new homes in the next five years. This is a 12% overall increase on existing housing stock and 35% of homes predicted to be built by housing associations by 2022.
  • Over a 10-year period, PlaceShapers is ramping up to deliver an additional 152,000 new homes by 2027, almost doubling its recent output.
  • PlaceShapers members have built over 52,000 new homes in the last six years, with at least 11,400 in the past year alone.

PlaceShapers chair Sinéad Butters said: “We see the housing crisis everyday as people are priced out of decent, secure and genuinely affordable homes. We are part of the solution and are stepping up to deliver 152,000 new homes across all tenures by 2027.”

Two Rivers Housing is currently building new flats, bungalows and houses on sites at Newent, Bream, Churcham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury. They encompass a range of tenures including affordable rent, market rent, Shared Ownership and private sale.

The National Housing Federation’s annual ‘Home Truths’ report looks at housing demand, supply and affordability across the country. Its 2016/17 report on the South-West reveals the following about Gloucestershire:

  • The average wage in Gloucestershire is £26,770.
  • The average house price in the county is £260,817 – although a home in the Cotswolds could set you back £382,000, 50% higher than the regional average.
  • Anyone looking to buy their home will need a gross annual income of £59,615 to be able to secure an 80% mortgage.
  • The county has more than 3,500 second homes, and over 2,000 properties are identified as ‘long term empty’ and not being used at all.
  • There are fewer than 30,000 ‘affordable’ homes available to rent through a housing association or local authority, yet there are long waiting lists and almost 16,000 people are queuing up to rent them when they become empty.
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of people claiming Housing Benefit are in work, but relying on state funding to help them make ends meet.