Social housing provider Stonewater has celebrated the start of construction on its 15 affordable home Balsam Park development in Wincanton.
Stonewater, in partnership with South Somerset District Council and developers Halsall Construction, is providing a mixture of seven two-bedroom, and eight three-bedroom houses which are all set to be offered under the Government’s Rent to Buy scheme.
Rent to Buy, which aims to help more people onto the property ladder, enables customers to rent their home at a below-market rate and save towards a deposit. After a minimum of five years, depending on circumstances, they will have the option to buy it at the current market value.
Located just a two-minute walk from Wincanton High Street, each of Stonewater’s smart new affordable homes at Balsam Park will be equipped with a private garden and allocated parking.
Charlotte Brace, Development Manager at Stonewater, commented: “We are delighted to see the construction of these new homes at Balsam Park now underway.
“House prices are out of reach for many in South Somerset and the average local looking to buy a home would need a 148% pay rise to be able to afford a mortgage in the area. At the same time, high rents — which are more than a third of the average wage — seriously restrict how much people can save towards buying a home. These new homes in Wincanton are among the first which we are offering under the Rent to Buy scheme and we hope they will help more people hoping to escape ‘the renting trap’ and get a foot onto the property ladder.”
The Balsam Park development has been financed by Stonewater with additional grant-funding from Homes England.
Councillor Ric Pallister, Leader of South Somerset District Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategy & Policy, added: “As South Somerset’s leading housing association development partner, I am delighted that Stonewater has been able to bring forward a scheme that helps to achieve a balanced range of opportunities for local families.
“Previously reliant on the rented market, this scheme will deliver real opportunities to take a stake in affordable homeownership for those families able to take that next step up the ladder. Stonewater is yet again delivering the right homes in the right places to meet a proven need.”
Stonewater is also currently working with South Somerset District Council on a nearby development of 14 affordable homes for rent and shared ownership at the former Dykes Nursery in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, near Yeovil.
Pictured, from left to right, are: Sue Berry, Stonewater Sales and Marketing Manager; Ian Mooney, Baker Ruff Hannon Employers Agent; Andy Chubb, Halsall Project/Contracts Manager and Charlotte Brace, Stonewater Development Manager.