16 affordable new homes completed in Wicken
Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, visited Hawes Lane in Wicken on 13 June 2022 to celebrate the completion of 16 affordable new homes. 9-17 Hawes Lane is a 16-home project made up of 11 affordable rented and 5 shared ownership houses and bungalows ranging from 2-3 bedrooms, and the site is now fully occupied by families with young children, all of whom have a connection to Wicken or the surrounding villages. The Mayor was met at the site by Nigel Howlett, Chief Executive of the CHS (Cambridge Housing Society) Group that oversaw the project, and together they discussed the challenges of securing land for affordable housing and the experiences of the families that they have been able to support at this new development.
After discussing the design of the houses and their environmental standards (all the units have air source heat pumps to help with lower carbon emissions) The Mayor asked about the building methods used in the development of the site and together they discussed the difficulties smaller companies have when it comes to adopting modern methods of building and ensuring more sustainable ways of living.
After the visit Dr Nik Johnson said, “It is wonderful to see a development like this that is supporting members of its local community and to see so many young families able to actually live in the area that they have a connection to. These projects are essential, and we need to continue working with parish councils to discuss how we can access suitable land for more affordable housing in our towns and villages and encourage greater collaboration between all the organisations involved in designing and building sustainable affordable housing.”
Based in Histon, the CHS Group are a social enterprise and charitable housing association providing and managing over 2,700 low-cost rented and shared ownership homes, and on average they build 80-100 affordable homes in our region every year. In addition, they provide residential and domiciliary care for older people and support for young people, parents, people with additional needs or experiencing homelessness, including money, debt, and employment advice.
On the Wicken development Nigel said, “Thanks to grant funding from the Combined Authority CHS has been able to provide 16 high quality affordable homes in Wicken with a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership. So, we have been able to house 16 local families all with connection to Wicken or the surrounding villages which means that they have been able to find secure, long term, affordable homes in their local community”.
The Combined Authority’s affordable housing programme has so far delivered 1,449 houses across 45 schemes throughout our region. The homes, which are provided through a mixture of shared ownership, private affordable rent, and affordable rented schemes, allowing families in our communities to put down roots in the places that matter to them and enjoy the security of home ownership.