First shared ownership homes ready despite COVID disruption

East Cambridgeshire District Council’s trading arm, East Cambs Trading Company (ECTC), has released the first phase of shared ownership homes at the former MoD site in Ely, despite disruption caused by the pandemic.

Situated at the former RAF housing estate, adjacent to the Princess of Wales Hospital, this first phase sees the release of seven, three-bedroom shared ownership houses in Simeon Close.

The aim of the project is to refurbish the former MoD site to bring these popular houses back into use, with some being offered as affordable shared ownership homes.

The Kilkenny Avenue project, expected to reach full completion in March 2023, includes 15 shared ownership homes in total. Property sizes on the scheme range from two-bedroom to four-bedroom and the development will also include enhanced landscaping and improved parking.

The project is supported by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, who provided loan funding of £24.4 million in addition to a loan from East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Phase two will see eight, two-bedroom apartments released in Autumn 2020.

Eligibility criteria for the scheme includes key workers. To be eligible for a shared ownership property at Simeon Close applicants must satisfy three key criteria:

1.    Do not currently own a residential property.

2.    Total household income must be below £80,000.

3.    Satisfy ‘Local Connection’ criteria.

The homes are in a popular residential location, close to central amenities and benefit from Ely’s road and rail connections between Cambridge and London.

Cllr Anna Bailey, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council said:

“The release of the first phase of affordable homes is a real milestone, and I want to thank everyone involved for going the extra mile to get to this stage, working under incredibly difficult conditions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was important to the Council, and to me personally, that the redevelopment of this site was used as an opportunity to provide as many affordable shared ownership homes as possible for those who live and work locally. The Council had to pay full open market price to the MoD for the site, so to get 15 affordable homes for the benefit of local people from this project is a significant achievement for a small local authority.

“The affordable homes are reserved for local, working people, giving them a chance to get onto the property ladder and stay in the area.  

“The completion of these houses at Simeon Close supports our efforts to end the cycle of local people being forced to live further and further away from their community and where they work due to escalating housing costs. And the fact that this phase has been completed on time, despite setbacks caused by the pandemic, is fantastic.”

Pricing information:

Phase one prices for the three-bedroom properties on Simeon Close start at £85,500 for a 30% share.

There is an option to purchase between 30%-60% initially, and at a later stage (having owned the property for a minimum of 12 months) additional shares up to 100% can be purchased.

Press release from East Cambridgeshire District Council

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