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LiveWest and Homes England agree deal to build thousands of homes across South West

By Hannah Baker

Thousands of affordable homes are to be built in the West of England following a deal between housing association LiveWest and government agency Homes England.

The partnership will see some 3,800 properties built across the region by 2028.

The Government has committed £5.2bn in affordable housing grants through its Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26, announcing 31 strategic partnerships with 35 organisations. The funding is part of a wider pledge to provide nearly £8.6bn for affordable homes in the UK.

LiveWest has been selected as a partner for the second time, having teamed up with Homes England in 2018 - alongside Basingstoke-based housing provider Sovereign - to deliver 2,275 homes by 2025, of which LiveWest would build 1,235.

The housing association said it was selected again after being assessed on a range of criteria, including its strategic ambition, targets around sustainability and its track record on delivering homes at scale.

A total investment of £123.6m in round two will see LiveWest delivering a further 2,550 affordable homes across the South West. Of those, 1,020 will be for shared ownership, 765 for affordable rent, 615 for social rent and 150 for supported housing. All of the homes from the latest partnership are due to be completed by March 2028.

LiveWest chief executive Paul Crawford (Rob Coombe)

Paul Crawford, chief executive for LiveWest, said: “We are absolutely committed to building more affordable homes at a time when the disparity between average salaries and average house prices is at its highest. Our purpose is to provide affordable homes for people who can’t access market housing and we believe in providing safe, secure and warm homes to enable our current and future customers to thrive."

For strategic partnerships under the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26, at least 25% of homes must be built using modern methods of construction (MMC), such as modular housing.

Mr Crawford added: “I am delighted that the Homes England funding comes with a focus on modern methods of construction and sustainability as these elements already form a fundamental part of our approach.”

Outside of the Homes for England programme, LiveWest plans to provide an additional 4,000 affordable homes over the next five years under planning obligations - with no grant funding.

Leading and co-ordinating the consortium, Affordable Homes South West partnership, LiveWest will also be supporting nine other housing associations in its area of operation to access grant funding from Homes England.

This will be done on a scheme-by-scheme basis for 2021-26, LiveWest said, from the Continuous Market Engagement (CME) bidding route which is part of the £7.39bn grant funding made available overall outside London in the new 21-26 programme.

LiveWest owns over 38,000 homes across the South West and is planning to invest around £2bn in to the local economy in the next 10 years, it added.

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Dive Deeper:
'Where do they go?': 'Right to buy' extension will create 'perfect storm' for homelessness, housing boss claims
The Prime Minister is reportedly keen to offer renters discounts of up to 70pc in a bid to help the…
Neighbours to get vote on plans for home extensions on their street in major shake-up
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Michael Gove appears to ditch Tory manifesto pledge to build 300,000 homes a year
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A Welsh charity head has attacked the UK government's handing of housing refugees in England
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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Number of houses built in Scotland falls by one-third amid Covid impacts
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Get all your news in one place