Affordable housing projects backed to boost Boston

Blue Street
Blue Street

Council bosses have lauded a series of schemes which they say will help boost the number of affordable homes in Boston and help potential buyers get on the housing ladder.

Boston Borough Council has outlined the work it is doing with Waterloo Housing Group after a report labelled the borough one of the least affordable places to rent accommodation in the region.

The sod cutting at Blue Street

The sod cutting at Blue Street

The report, drawn up by the National Housing Federation, stated that people in rented homes in Boston are forced to fork out 32.4 per cent of their income on rent alone.

The federation called for a greater investment in affordable homes and says people will continue to struggle without this – but the council says that work is already under way.

In addition to £550,000 the council originally approved as part of its housing strategy, the authority says it made a further £322,000 affordable homes funding available in September.

Waterloo is working on a development of 41 houses in Blue Street and expects 19 of these to be completed by the end of March.

It is also working on 48 houses at Broadfield Lane, Boston. These will be completed summer 2016.

A further site at Brothertoft Road which will provide 13 dwellings, due for completion later this year, is also under way.

Plans are also going ahead for a scheme at Swineshead to provide 19 dwellings and work is expected to start in March.

The Blue Street scheme is on the former Pilgrim Foods depot in Boston. The development will cost just over £5 million and received investment support of £160,000 from Boston Borough Council and £1 million from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Boston Borough Council leader Peter Bedford said: “This is yet another large disused site in Boston being returned to usefulness - providing much-needed and affordable modern homes.”

Portfolio holder for housing Coun Mike Gilbert said: “The council has established a sound working relationship with Waterloo Housing, providing affordable homes and homes in the rental sector.

“By providing additional funding to offset some of the building costs we are fortunate to have the opportunity to develop affordable homes in the borough.”

Coun Gilbert said the council’s rogue landlord scheme was driving up standards of rented accommodation.

Two weeks ago we also reported how Thomas Campbell Estate Agents director Harry Drury had said there was a move against houses in multiple opccupation (HMOs).

He was confident that upcoming investment from builders would see the housing market in Boston improve.

Anthony Riley, Waterloo Housing group director of development and operations, said: “Waterloo Housing Group is working hard in partnership with Boston Borough Council to provide more affordable homes in Boston, as evidenced by our recent development of 41 homes at Blue Street. We are currently developing over a further 100 affordable homes in a number of locations across the borough with generous assistance from the council.

“Also we have recently secured funding to deliver over 2,500 new affordable rented and shared ownership homes across the Midlands and Lincolnshire with our local authority partners, as part of a three-year agreement between us and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

“We will continue to work alongside Boston Borough Council to increase the number of well-maintained affordable homes for local people.”

Waterloo has more than 100 dwellings now started, with a further 50 expected soon.