A housebuilding consortium is celebrating two decades of a partnership that has seen the construction of over 12,000 new “affordable” homes throughout the South of England.
The Wayfarer Partnership is a consortium of 18 housing providers, local authorities and charitable partners, established in 2003 to focus on building homes for rent, low cost homeownership and specialist housing.
Housing association Abri serves as Wayfarer’s lead partner, and helps fellow consortium members bid for grant funding support from Homes England. Over the last 20 years the consortium has received over £344m in grant funding to help build a total of 12,279 new homes.
Harriet Powell, Homes England’s senior manager, said: “We’re pleased to support the delivery of more affordable housing which helps to create thriving and sustainable communities. As the government’s housing and regeneration agency, we want to build good quality homes in the right places with the most need.
“Members of the Wayfarer Consortium understand the housing support that’s needed for their local communities, and it’s great to see this investment resulting in much-needed new homes for local people.”
Wayfarer members vary in size and housing type, and currently includes eight members that provide homes for residents with specialist or support needs, offering homes that are purposely designed to enable residents to live independently.
The partnership represents the ownership of over 120,000 homes across the South of England, and says it currently has another 400 homes under construction.
Natasha Wilson, head of Wayfarer, said: “The successful partnership of Wayfarer members means collectively we have consistently delivered thousands of high quality, affordable homes to enhance the communities we work with.
“The progress made over the last 20 years is undeniable and it’s thanks to our partners and the support of Homes England that we’ve been able to help so many customers.
“Homes are nothing without strong and sustainable communities, and it’s fantastic to see that this belief is shared by all our partners. I’m looking forward to seeing how the consortium can build on this progress and what we can achieve over the next 20 years.”
Trevor Pickup, chief executive of Wayfarer member, Society of St James, added: “As a smaller housing association with a specialism on homelessness, we have had several successful years of developing more housing through the Wayfarer partnership.
“Our aim is to reduce rough sleeping by creating more homes for people. If people can move out of our hostels into longer term accommodation, the individuals benefit hugely, and the vacancies created in the hostels can then be taken by other rough sleepers.
“We aim to continue to develop move-on housing in Portsmouth, Southampton and across Hampshire to meet the needs of our local communities.”
Tim Davis, service manager housing strategy and development at New Forest District Council, said: “We’re really grateful for the commitment from the Wayfarer Partnership. Their support in helping us to access Homes England grant funding continues to be an essential part of the district council’s development strategy, enabling us to deliver more high quality affordable homes and to create a thriving and sustainable future for customers.”
Image credit: mariyaermolaeva – Shutterstock
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