Councillor Perks was joined by Local Councillor and Merlin Housing Society Board Member Mike Drew, to open the new development at Newmans Court in Yate.
The two councillors acknowledged Merlin’s efforts to address the current housing crisis – a shortage of affordable homes, rising private rents and the unaffordability of home ownership for first time buyers. The pair also met Jennifer Burke, Victoria Waterhouse and Mike Hathaway – buyers of the housing association’s first shared ownership homes
Councillor Perks said: “It’s great to be able to have the opportunity to celebrate what’s good in Yate. The new development is really helping to enhance the area.
“I’m a keen supporter of Merlin’s ongoing strategy for providing homes for people who need them. It’s done a wonderful job; I think people will be very happy living here.”
Councillor Drew said: “This is Merlin’s first development in Yate and the organisation is perfectly placed to provide the affordable homes element of future developments. Newmans Court is an example of the quality homes it can provide now and in the future.”
Merlin’s Development Manager, Peter Crouch said: “It’s a small but significant development for us. Completion of these homes take Merlin’s new homes total over the fifty mark, our first homes in Yate and our first shared ownership properties. There’s a housing shortage in the South West, average house prices are high and private rents are increasing, so we’re doing all we can to help people find homes.”
Newmans Court is made up of four one bed flats for social rent and two-two bed flats which Merlin made available for shared ownership sale. The properties were built by McCarthy & Stone as the affordable housing requirement in their section 106 agreement with South Gloucestershire Council.
Jennifer Burke, who’s bought one of the shared ownership homes said: “I’ve been living in a caravan with my son for the past 15 months, so I cannot express how excited I am to finally have a proper home. I never thought I’d be able to afford to get on the property ladder. I can’t wait to move in.”
Victoria Waterhouse and Mike Hathaway who’ve bought the other shared ownership home said: “We’ve been living in Mike’s mother’s loft room for three years. We’re now expecting a baby and are looking forward to our first Christmas in our first family home.”
Merlin aim to build 200 new homes within a 20 mile radius of its head office in Chipping Sodbury by 2015.