Shared ownership homes at Six Hills in Stevenage

FAMILIES unable to get a grip on the property ladder are being given a helping hand thanks to a development of affordable homes. William Sutton Housing Association, a registered social landlord, is offering homes at affordable rents and through shared own

FAMILIES unable to get a grip on the property ladder are being given a helping hand thanks to a development of affordable homes.

William Sutton Housing Association, a registered social landlord, is offering homes at affordable rents and through shared ownership at Six Hills in Stevenage.

The first six residents moved into their new homes last month. Among them were Sarah Joy, her partner Stephen Keane and their three children - Shaynie, eight, Abbie, six, and Megan, three.

A series of unfortunate events meant the family found themselves homeless and living in temporary accommodation.


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Having been on the waiting list for a rented home for about 16 months, they received the call telling them they had been allocated a new home on Christmas Eve.

Sarah, 33, a part-time care worker, said: "We had been staying at my partner's father's home and when he passed away, we needed to sell the house to cover the care costs.

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"We were housed as homeless in a flat above a shop, which wasn't ideal. When we found out we were being allocated a new home we couldn't believe it.

"It is so much quieter than living above the shop, and the house has a garden where the children can play. We have settled into our new home really well. It has given us the security we needed."

William Sutton Housing Association (WSHA), part of the William Sutton Group, has taken on the new homes under a Section 106 agreement - which means developers of new housing must provide a proportion of the properties at affordable rates.

WHSA will take ownership of 57 homes on the Six Hills development. Of these, 18 will be offered for shared ownership, meaning buyers on moderate incomes can buy a share of the property and pay rent on the remainder.

Ann Webb, councillor for housing at Stevenage Borough Council, said: "This town desperately needs more affordable homes. Because of this the council sold the site at Six Hills at a reduced value to enable the provision of 50 per cent affordable housing on the development.

"We also supported William Sutton's bid to the Housing Corporation for a grant to build the affordable homes."

* To find out more about shared ownership homes at Six Hills, call 01442 283111.

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