TWO schemes to provide housing for local people at East-the-Water are bringing new hope for those in Bideford who are unable to find affordable homes. Twenty-one new homes have been built for local people thanks to an investment by Torridge District Counc
TWO schemes to provide housing for local people at East-the-Water are bringing new hope for those in Bideford who are unable to find affordable homes.Twenty-one new homes have been built for local people thanks to an investment by Torridge District Council and Devon County Council in a development at Tarka Point.Another 25 "affordable" homes are on the horizon as part of plans for a 60-home development at Pollyfield, in a joint planning application by Torridge District and Bideford Town Councils.The Tarka Point scheme, called Fillablack Road, provides seven shared ownership homes - part rent, part buy - and 14 available to rent. Work began on site last December and the homes will be completed this month.Nominations to the rented properties is through Torridge District Council. Those interested in the shared ownership properties should lodge their interest with Home to Own.Andrew Lawrie of Spectrum Housing Group said: "This is an excellent example of real partnership working at a local and county level, together with the Housing Corporation and developers Persimmon Homes, to provide much-needed affordable housing for local people."Cllr Phillip Collins of Torridge District Council added: ''Affordable housing for local people has been one of our key priorities for some time. This completion is one of many successful projects in the pipeline, funded from second homes' council tax, which we increased to 90 per cent, the maximum allowed. "We are well aware of the difficulties of the local housing market. This development confirms local affordable housing is beginning to increase. Last year's figures were 141 per cent higher than the previous year and this year's figures are projected to be even higher.''The total scheme has cost more than £2million.The Housing Corporation has provided £685,000 of grant funding and Torridge District Council and Devon County Council have provided £225, 000. The remainder has been funded through Signpost Housing's private funders. The Pollyfield application will, if agreed, provide 11 two-bedroom houses, eight three-bedroom houses and six two-bedroom flats as "affordable" homes.The scheme also includes 13 two-bedroom, 13 three-bedroom and one four-bedroom houses and eight two-bedroom flats for sale on the open market.Maria Bailey, community planning manager, said: "The authorities are leading by example to show private developers that schemes which include 40 per cent affordable housing can be delivered."A survey commissioned by the National Housing Federation identified that there are more than 1,500 people on the housing needs register in Torridge and, although the housing market has slowed slightly, the average house price in the region is still around the £200,000 mark.