The Housing and Communities Committee of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority has approved funding for 81 affordable homes at sites across Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire on Monday.
Three different sites in Stilton, Ramsey and Alconbury will provide 42, 11 and 17 affordable homes respectively, through a mixture of social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership. The agreement in Alconbury takes houses that have not sold in the open market and makes them available through shared ownership, galvanising the housing market and opening up opportunities for affordable purchases in an area that desperately needs it. Funding was also unanimously agreed to unlock a further 11 affordable properties in Trumpington Meadows in Cambridge, providing affordable housing within three miles of Cambridge city centre.
As part of the devolution deal, the Mayoral Combined Authority negotiated £100m of government funding for affordable housing, with a commitment to fund 2000 homes by March 2022. The programme is on schedule with 1200 homes funded as of January 2020. The Combined Authority looks for innovative ways to maximise the usability of the fund, including using £40m as a groundbreaking ‘revolving’ fund, which grants loans to developers to enable affordable housing construction; the interest on these loans is then added to the fund, enabling it to sustain itself.
Mayor James Palmer said:
‘I am thrilled that the Housing & Communities Committee has agreed to fund 81 desperately needed affordable properties in Huntingdonshire and Cambridge. We are determined to use our £100m funding as efficiently and innovatively as possible to deliver the homes we need. Solving the housing crisis in the region is key to supporting and growing the economy: whether you work in Fenland or Cambridge city centre, the fact is that everyone needs a home. I am proud of the 1200 affordable homes that our new delivery-focussed approach has now enabled across the region, and I look forward to celebrating when we hit the 2000 mark before March 2022.’