A £1.6m funding boost is set to accelerate three significant developments in Sunderland, providing much-needed homes for vulnerable residents.
Sunderland City Council has secured support from Homes England that will enable the development of 43 bungalows and properties for supported accommodation in James William Street, Old Mill Road and Washington Old School, after a successful bid for funding as part of its Housing Delivery Investment Plan (HDIP).
The local authority, which returned to building homes in 2020, forty years on from the last council house being constructed in the city, has made rapid progress with the HDIP, a £59m programme that is focused on delivering on Sunderland’s housing needs for vulnerable and older residents.
The new properties, which have been approved by planners, will be constructed by spring 2023, and the council’s adult social care team will work with the housing team once they’re handed over to ensure they are allocated to residents whose needs they could support.
Councillor Kevin Johnston, dynamic city cabinet member, said: “The HDIP is an ambitious plan and we’re pleased to have been successful in our bid for funding to enable us to accelerate plans and maximise our own investment as a local authority.
“The impact these homes have on residents’ lives is just incredible. Lifechanging. Often residents are moving from homes that are totally inadequate to properties that are adapted to not only meet their needs, but to enable them to lead a happy, fulfilled life, with technology that enables them.”
Sunderland’s HDIP has got off to a successful start, with 72 properties now owned by the council across the city.
Many of the council’s tenancies are with older and vulnerable residents, and the priority is to build more one-story homes and supported accommodation, to ensure it can continue to meet the needs of people in the city.
With schemes at Boult Terrace and Albert Place both complete, as well as a five-bungalow development in Elmwood Avenue, Southwick acquired from a local developer and phase one of Valiant Close – formerly Cork Street – now occupied, the HDIP has already successfully delivered a range of accessible homes that are supporting people with disabilities and mobility issues.
The latest schemes planned will add to the council’s portfolio of homes, and represents the latest tranche of support from Homes England, which has already committed £2.607m to HDIP homes.
Andrea Taylor at Homes England said: “Despite the current challenges affecting the country, accelerating housebuilding remains Homes England’s number one priority.
“We are committed to supporting Sunderland City Council who have ambitions to build new homes and our investment through affordable housing grant allows us to do that.
“We’re delighted that this funding will enable Sunderland City Council to deliver much needed new homes in Hendon, Southwick and Washington.”
The HDIP will see the council bring forward 193 accessible properties by 2025, as well as 210 general-needs homes – suitable for families – that will be delivered through conversion of empty homes across the city and 171 supported homes, designed to help people who are taking their steps towards independence or who are at risk of homelessness.
So far, the council has spent or committed £23m of the £59m it has allocated for this project.