COUNCIL bosses are on schedule to bring new affordable homes to Huddersfield.
With four housing sites complete, 18 more underway and over 40 new homes set to be occupied by the end of the year, 12 months on from signing the contract for Excellent Homes for Life the project is already having an impact in Kirklees.
By the end of June 2014, 466 new ‘Excellent Homes for Life’ will have been built across the district. The project, a partnership between Kirklees Council and Regenter Excellent Homes for Life (a consortium of companies including Wates Living Space and John Laing) is already running ahead of schedule.
Now councillors will be asked to confirm spending money on creating attractive open spaces at four of the forthcoming locations.
Some of the money, which is from a previously agreed budget, will also be spent on alterations to roads to make it easier for residents to access buses in two of the locations.
Building work began in January this year and has been ongoing ever since, with the first homes complete and ready to move into by September.
Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Excellent Homes for Life is delivering much-needed affordable housing in the district and we’re delighted with its progress to date.
“Some sites have been completed ahead of schedule and, in some cases, the project is set to enhance the surrounding areas as well as the immediate vicinity of the homes.”
As well as benefiting the new tenants, the scheme is also already contributing to the regional economy with a total of 29 Kirklees-based firms – and a further 50 from the wider West Yorkshire – having become suppliers to the project.
In addition, 26 new apprenticeships within the Wates EHL supply chain have been created to date and a further 18 positions safeguarded thanks to the new work.
A council spokesman said: “Excellent Homes for Life is a significant construction project with a value of approximately £69m.
“With 27 different locations across Kirklees, one of the aims of the Excellent Homes for Life project is to improve access to affordable rented housing throughout Kirklees, including homes for people with disabilities.
“Thirty-five of the homes are being designed and built to meet the needs of wheelchair users. They have special features such as kitchens with adjustable work tops and bathrooms with level access showers.
“In addition, there are 140 Extra Care homes within the scheme, which are being built on three sites. These will meet the increasing demand for care and support for older people including 10 units designed to meet the needs of people with dementia”.
Clr McBride added: “Excellent Homes for Life responds significantly to the growing need for affordable housing in Kirklees and it’s great that it is also benefiting the local economy. I’d like to also take this opportunity to thank our partners in REHL for their hard work to date.”
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet will be discussing Excellent Homes for Life at a Cabinet Meeting next Tuesday.