WORK has begun on a £2.4m housing project in Deighton.
Huddersfield's Sadeh Lok Housing Group will own 20 new three-bedroom and eight four-bedroom homes, which are being built on Shepherds Grove.
The scheme will also include a playground for young children.
Sadeh Lok has paid for the scheme through a grant of £1.4m from the Housing Corporation and a £1m loan from the Yorkshire Bank.
Sadeh Lok chairman Balbir Singh Uppal visited the site with Kirklees councillors Susan May, Jean Calvert and Ken Smith yesterday to mark the start of building work.
The building work is being carried out by Halifax developers Southdale Homes and is expected to be finished by 2004.
Project manager Riz Aziz, from Sadeh Lok, said: "They will be at affordable rents, so different people who generally can't afford to buy or rent houses privately can have somewhere nice to live."
He said that once the houses were finished, Kirklees Council would choose people to live in them from its housing register.
Mr Aziz said first choice would be given to people whose council houses are set to be demolished as part of the Deighton and Brackenhall Initiative (DBI).
The DBI involves Kirklees, Southdale, housing associations like Sadeh Lok and firms selling private properties.
It has seen around 550 council houses demolished, to be replaced by new Southdale-built homes.
The work is being done in three phases, covering different parts of the Deighton and Brackenhall areas.
The first phase has recently been completed and residents have moved into new bungalows at Hopkinson Road in Sheepridge.
Mr Aziz said the DBI was not just about building houses.
He said that during the construction of the Sadeh Lok houses people from Deighton and Brackenhall would be offered the chance to train in building trades.
He added: "Southdale wants bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians, because there is a national shortage of building tradesmen.
"Southdale and Kirklees decided that because they were building so many houses, there would be a lack of personnel.
"They want to tempt residents to train with Southdale and eventually obtain full-time jobs," said Mr Aziz.
"The DBI will last another three years, so they should be fully trained by then.
"The DBI is not just about houses. It is about changing people's situations and targeting unemployment."