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“A unique opportunity” – Oxfordshire Growth Board welcomes Homes England’s strong commitment to supporting Oxfordshire

The Oxfordshire Growth Board has welcomed the continued and ongoing support from Homes England to achieve their shared ambitions in Oxfordshire, which include the delivery of good quality, sustainable homes where residents need them most, along with the significant improvement of local infrastructure.

Homes England Deputy Chief Executive, Tom Walker said: “Homes England is working closely with local partners across the county and with government in recognition that Oxfordshire is a priority place for new homes. We are committed to helping them deliver the housing they need – using our land, money and powers to increase the pace, scale and quality of delivery, and I am delighted to be in Oxfordshire to talk to council leaders and core partners about their long-term plans.”

Mr Walker gave a presentation to the Oxfordshire Growth Board’s public meeting in Didcot on 29 January in which he spoke of the unique opportunity the partnership between Homes England and the Oxfordshire Growth Board provides for the future of the county. He explained the government agency’s mission to ensure more homes are built in areas of greatest need, to improve affordability and to make it sustainable by creating a more resilient and diverse housing market.

During his presentation, Mr Walker acknowledged the good progress already made in Oxfordshire and referred to the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal, and how the growth board’s commitment is helping to unlock long-term pipeline for investment in the county.

Cllr Jane Murphy, Chairman of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, said: “We are very pleased with the positive, collaborative way in which Homes England are approaching their work in Oxfordshire. It’s good news for all of our residents to have a government agency so committed to working closely with our local authorities to ensure the right homes are delivered where and when they’re needed most, as well as the infrastructure needed to support them. The Growth Board is just as determined to deliver on our commitments to delivering much-needed housing and infrastructure in Oxfordshire.”

Growth Board Says Let’s Build Affordable Homes

Oxfordshire Growth Board held an event for developers and registered providers of social housing to invite them to help deliver new affordable homes across the county supported by funding from the Housing and Growth Deal.

The event was held at Didcot Civic Hall 09:30-14:30 on Thursday 18 October. Officers from all four District Councils and Oxford City Council will set out details of the three-year programme to deliver at least 1,320 additional affordable homes countywide.

All forms of affordable tenure will be supported, including rent to buy, shared ownership, and homes for affordable and social rent to meet the needs of residents across the county and support the growth of the local economy.

Developers were also told of the Growth Board’s commitment to support and scale-up the application of off-site modular housing construction, and to build on the experience of Oxfordshire’s successful Bicester and Barton Healthy New Town initiatives to deliver healthy homes and communities.

Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, who hosted the event said:

“We want this programme to be a beacon of success and a step change in the delivery of affordable housing in Oxfordshire.   We are interested in providing for those on the lowest incomes, but we want also to help those who aspire to own their own homes. We want to develop the different types of housing that will meet the specific needs of the many different localities across the county.

“Most of all we want to create places in which to live, work and play that will be a legacy for our children and their families and to achieve this we both need and want to work in partnership with developers and registered providers.”

Kate Wareing, Chief Executive, SOHA Housing, said:

“Housing in Oxfordshire is amongst the most expensive in the country compared to average earnings, with a huge proportion of the people of Oxfordshire unable to access the affordable, secure accommodation they want and need for them and their families. Soha welcomes the Oxfordshire Growth Deal’s focus on enabling an increase in the number of affordable homes that can be built in Oxfordshire. Key to its success will be a combination of access to funding, supporting access to land at below market rates and enabling collaborations that create new opportunities to build more homes. We look forward to building more new homes for the people of Oxfordshire.”

More information about how the new affordable housing will be delivered and a detailed prospectus for developers can be viewed below.

Let’s Build Affordable Homes

Oxfordshire Affordable Homes Prospectus

Homes England Presentation

Affordable Housing Launch Presentation

SOHA Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal Presentation – Oct 18

Application Form