The three houses have been developed on the site of empty garages in Ripon through a unique scheme which sees the council’s ‘in-house development team’ build homes on council-owned land, then let them to local families as much-needed social housing.
The Harrogate and Craven areas have seen almost 60 homes developed through this initiative over the past five years, attracting £2.3 million of government funding. It has utilised land that had been unused, demolishing garages that were no longer fit for purpose, improving amenity land for local residents and tackling anti-social behaviour hotspots.
The three new two and three-bedroom homes have been let to local families on the housing waiting list, providing good-quality, energy efficient properties at affordable rents.
A further nine homes are currently being developed in the Harrogate area – seven in Harrogate and two in Sharow.
The houses in Holmefield Road, Ripon, have been built with the most up-to-date green credentials. They each have air source heat pumps, solar panels and triple glazing and will produce only between 0.2 and 0.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. An average home produces six tonnes.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for housing, Cllr Simon Myers, said:
These are the first new social rented affordable homes delivered by North Yorkshire Council and are part of an on-going programme to make a big difference to the lives and well-being of local families.
Across the county there are plots of unused land – particularly garages that are too small to be used for cars and end up overgrown, derelict and a haven for anti-social behaviour. Many of these areas would never be touched by developers as they can be complicated to bring forward.
It is a pioneering initiative and just one of the ways we can create much-needed affordable homes in the county – we also work with housing associations and through our commercial arm, Brierley Homes.
Matthew Wright, Analyst – Provider Management for Homes England, added:
Despite the current challenges affecting the country, accelerating housebuilding remains our number one priority.
We are committed to supporting North Yorkshire Council’s ambitions to build new homes and our investment through affordable housing grant allows us to do that.
We’re delighted that this funding will enable North Yorkshire Council to deliver much-needed new homes in Ripon and other parts of North Yorkshire.
Claire Edwards, who will move into one of the new homes with her partner, Sharon, this weekend, has been a council house tenant for the last 32 years.
This is the first time I have moved into a brand new house and I can’t wait to get there.
I am literally moving round the corner, but we are downsizing, which gives someone else a chance to be rehoused, too. They are lovely homes – I feel very lucky.