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Regeneration of Totnes estate backed by further investment

Published date : 16 May 2011

Affordable housing in Totnes has received a major boost with the investment of more than £1m from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to support the delivery of a new development in the town.

The national housing and regeneration agency has approved a £1.1m investment, which will be used by affordable housing provider Tor Homes to build 39 new affordable homes on the Culverdale estate.

The news comes as tenants move into the recently completed new affordable housing on the estate, which is the first to be built for rent in Totnes for eight years. Tor Homes, part of the Devon & Cornwall Housing Group, has provided this first phase of 19 new homes at Culverdale with investment of more than £1.25m from the HCA and further funding from South Hams District Council.

There is a shortage of affordable rented properties in the town, with 754 households on the waiting list requesting Totnes. There are also 1,958 households on the housing register in the South Hams.

One of those tenants to benefit from the newly completed homes is mum-of-three Rhona Curley, who has moved from a two-bedroomed flat into a larger house with her partner Howard Campbell and Molly, aged eight, Skye, six, and 18-month-old Lewis. The family previously had to climb two flights of stairs to access their flat, which was a daily ordeal for Rhona and Skye, who has Down’s Syndrome and has undergone two heart operations.

Said Rhona: "This house is so lovely. For the first time, we have a garden and space for the children to play. No more stairs to get to our front door, it's made such a difference to the whole family."

The latest HCA investment will help Tor Homes replace 24 outdated bungalows for older people and create an additional 15 homes on the site. South Hams District Council is also investing £600,000 in this second phase of work.

HCA investment and regeneration manager Lisa Clayton added: “Investing in delivering homes in areas where they are most needed is an important part of what we do as an agency.

“These new homes are good news for the local community and testament to the hard work that has been put in by all of the partners to see them delivered. I hope the tenants who move into the homes will be very happy living there.

“By investing this further £1.1m, we are providing more access to the affordable housing that people with connections to Totnes need.”

The homes in the first phase of this development have been let in accordance with South Hams District Council’s local Allocations Policy. Priority on the allocation of the new flats has been given to the remaining Tor Homes tenants living in bungalows at Culverdale. The new houses have been built to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which is a higher environmental standard than a traditionally built new property. Environmentally sustainable features include solar panels to generate hot water and facilities for rain water harvesting to flush the toilet and use the washing machine, which will help make the properties cheaper to run.

Cllr Michael Saltern, Executive Member for Housing for South Hams District Council, said: “The need for affordable housing in Totnes is unquestionably high and the importance of the HCA investment in terms of meeting this need cannot be underestimated. With the knowledge of the financial demands of this scheme South Hams District Council took the decision to prioritise its capital availability and committed £600,000 to ensure Culverdale Phase II scheme could proceed to provide these vital homes for the community.

“Given the proven quality of the initial phase of the regeneration of Culverdale I am sure that the residents will be absolutely thrilled to see phase two commencing. South Hams District Council is very proud to have played its part in this project, working as always with such an excellent partner in Tor Homes.”

Howard Toplis, Chief Executive of Tor Homes, added: “In recent years, there has been limited development opportunity and a huge need for affordable homes for local people in the Totnes area. With the completion of our first, entirely rented, affordable housing scheme in the town in eight years, this latest investment will help us to deliver quality, affordable housing.”

Ends

For more media information contact Ben Lowndes in the HCA press office, 0117 937 7209 ben.lowndes@hca.gsx.gov.uk

 

Notes to editors

 

About the new homes

Designed by LHC Architects and built by Midas Homes Phase 1 of Culverdale scheme provides:

  • Seven three-bedroomed houses;
  • Five two-bedroomed houses;
  • Five two-bedroomed flats and two one-bedroomed flats.

The flats have been designated for people over 50 years of age. One hundred and ninety people bid through the Devon Home Choice system for the 19 new homes.

After allocation of the flats and offers to the remaining Tor Homes’ tenants living in bungalows, South Hams District Council’s local Allocations Policy also provides for subsequent lettings to be made to applicants with a local connection to Totnes and preference given to any Housing Association tenants in the South Hams who are under-occupying their property.

Over 50% of the properties have been offered to households with a local connection to Totnes and a couple of tenants have taken advantage of South Hams District Council’s Tenants’ Incentive Scheme and downsized from larger properties. The scheme provides a cash inventive to households who wish to downsize from their existing accommodation by one bedroom or more, thus helping people move to a smaller property more suited to their needs which then releases a larger property back into the affordable housing pool, easing the pressure on the need for larger family homes.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Our vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.

Devon & Cornwall Housing is more than just a landlord. They work with local communities across Cornwall and Devon, offering housing, support, regeneration, and encouraging community engagement. Devon & Cornwall Housing is made up of three main companies: Devon & Cornwall Housing (DCH) which leads the group, and delivers customer services through two subsidiary companies; Penwith Housing Association (PHA) and Tor Homes. As a collaborative, strong organisation they manage over 18,000 homes, being the largest landlord in the South West. They have built nearly 2,000 new homes over three years and are the region’s largest developer of affordable housing. With 700 staff working together across Devon and Cornwall, they are well-placed to work with our customers and stakeholders to carry on delivering much needed high-quality value-for-money services. They are regulated by the Tenant Services Authority (TSA), which is a government agency that sets out minimum standards for housing associations to achieve.

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