Ribbon-cutting in Welford-on-Avon celebrates completion of urgently needed affordable homes

A ribbon-cutting ceremony has marked the completion of six stylish new Stonewater homes for affordable rent and shared home ownership in Welford-on- Avon.

The village properties, off Barton Road, have been developed by Stonewater, a leading social housing provider in the region, as part of housebuilder CALA Homes’ new 18-home development, The Arbour. The affordable housing element of the scheme is part of an initiative by Stratford-on- Avon District Council to address a chronic shortage of affordable homes for local people.

Stonewater has worked with CALA Homes and the Council to deliver the £900,000 scheme which provides four three-bedroom family homes for low-cost rent and two houses for affordable shared ownership.

The new Stonewater homes come at a time when the average cost of a house in the area is £330,000, almost 11 times the average local salary (£31,000), and typical private sector rents (£836) are almost a third (32 per cent) of local workers’ average take home pay.

Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development said:

“These six family homes in Welford are an example of what can be achieved if local partners work together to tackle the affordable housing crisis affecting our rural villages which are increasingly under threat because the people who run local services and businesses can’t afford to live in them.”

“When just 8 per cent of rural housing is classed as affordable, compared with 20 per cent in urban areas, there is a desperate need for low-cost homes like these in Welford and in other villages across the West Midlands which have been particularly hit by declining numbers of affordable properties. We hope that these Stonewater homes will enable local people, who are key to the long-term sustainability of the community, to stay in the village, close to their work, families and friends.”

The Stonewater homes also benefit from very energy-efficient heating systems and high levels of insulation which will help reduce residents’ heating costs and counter fuel poverty.

The Stonewater homes will be allocated through Stratford-on- Avon District Council’s Choice Based Lettings scheme which will give priority to those with a local connection to Welford- on-Avon.

Robert Vaudry, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Infrastructure at Stratford on Avon District Council, said:

“The Council welcomes the completion of these new affordable homes and congratulates Stonewater and CALA for their collaboration on this project. The Council is very much aware of the local and national challenges which surround the provision of affordable homes and I regard it as one of my key responsibilities as Portfolio Holder for Housing and Infrastructure to explore every opportunity available to the Council which has the potential to help overcome these challenges.

“Delivery of this scheme is proof that working in partnership with developers and social housing providers can achieve the outcomes which the Council is committed to securing.”

Stonewater also owns and manages a development of 11 homes for affordable rent and shared ownership in Shottery, on the outskirts of Stratford-upon- Avon.