New partnership delivers 11 affordable rural homes
Two new rural housing schemes, developed in partnership between Northamptonshire Rural Housing Association (NRHA) and Grand Union Housing Group, have delivered 11 affordable homes in West Northamptonshire villages, Lilbourne and Little Addington.
With a common aim to increase the number of quality, affordable homes in Northamptonshire’s rural communities, the combination of Grand Union’s resources and NRHA’s rural expertise has led to an important new working partnership between the two housing providers.
The scheme in Lilbourne provides five much-needed affordable homes, four semi-detached houses and one bungalow. Grand Union’s access to the Homes England’s Affordable Homes Programme secured a £315,000 grant for the development.
The five homes completed in September 2022 were all available for social rent. And, importantly for the community, they were all allocated to local people with a long-standing connection to Lilbourne, including a retired grandmother who was ready to downsize, but needed to stay close to family; a young family who needed space and security; and Chi Wah Chow a local pastor and his family who were travelling into the village several times a week.
Chi Wah, the Pastor at Lilbourne Evangelical Church, his wife Lisa and their three children have wanted to live in the village ever since Chi Wah first became involved with the church back in 2016, so that he could be closer to the parish. He told us:
“To really be part of the community and do the best possible job as the Pastor, being close by is so important. Living in the village is already making a positive difference to my work in the church. It’s giving me the chance to spend more time getting to know people, I can invite people to my home and I’m around when people need me.”
And the scheme in Little Addington has provided two bungalows for social rent and four houses for shared ownership, all for local people.
Neil Gilliver, NRHA’s Development Services Manager explained the importance of the partnership:
“Partnering with Grand Union on these two projects has been a really positive experience. They share our passion to provide high-quality, rural homes for local people who desperately need affordable options to be able to stay in their communities. We’re proud of these homes and look forward to working together on future rural developments.”
Dave Lakin, Director of Development & Commercial at Grand Union, added: