Delivering 40,000 new homes across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

As part of a ground-breaking alliance of 15 housing associations, Longhurst Group will help the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority deliver up to 40,000 affordable homes over the next 20 years.

The unique collaboration, called Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, will use a grant of £170m to deliver the homes. This investment follows a devolution deal negotiated by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in March 2017 which has given them greater powers to run their area.

Also supported by the National Housing Federation, the alliance will build mixed tenure properties, including affordable housing, within what is the first devolved authority to have been allocated a specific grant.

Using part of the £170m grant, a commitment has been made to deliver at least 2,000 additional affordable homes by 2021.

These properties will help tackle a housing crisis that sees Cambridge ranked the third most expensive place to buy a home in the region with average house prices almost 17 times higher than the average local salary.

One of the UK's leading developers, Longhurst Group was rated in the top 30 of Inside Housing's Biggest Builders survey. As part of our ambitious growth plans, the Group is committed to building more than 3,000 mixed tenure homes over the next five years.

Julie Doyle, Chief Executive of Longhurst Group, said: “We are extremely proud to be part of Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This progressive and innovative approach will help us deliver a range of quality, affordable homes in areas that desperately need them.

“By working together with other housing associations and the local authority, with the support of the National Housing Federation, the alliance will be able to make a real contribution to solving the housing crisis and improving people’s lives.

“As a founding member of the Blue Skies Consortium and through delivering high-standard joint venture developments with a number of valued partners, we know how just successful working in collaboration can be. As we get closer to realising more of our ambitious plans for the future, I look forward to seeing the results of this fantastic alliance.”

The other housing associations involved in the alliance are Accent, Aldwyck Housing Group, bpha, CHS Group, Clarion Housing, CKH, Flagship Group, Hastoe Group, Havebury Housing Partnership, Hundred Houses Society, Hyde, Luminus Group, Metropolitan and Sanctuary Group.

Between them, they own and manage 48,277 homes in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area, add almost £100m to the local economy and support over 1,000 jobs.

As part of this new deal, they will match every £1 of the Combined Authority’s investment with up to £6 of their own.

The collaboration was officially launched in Littleport, Ely, where CHS Group are developing 16 new homes with funding from the Combined Authority.

Alan Lewin, chair of Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “As the first devolved authority to be established with its own housing grant programme, this is a ground-breaking collaboration for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“This region is unique amongst devolved areas due to its diverse mix of urban and rural communities, ranging from world class high-tech business centres to small, agricultural communities.

“The housing associations in Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will work together with the Combined Authority, Local Authorities, and Homes England to provide diverse, quality homes, including housing let at affordable rents, mixed tenure, and outright sale.

“This will ensure there are homes for people on a range of incomes, while also supporting sustainable growth in our urban and rural communities.” 

Cllr Peter Topping, portfolio holder for new homes and communities at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “We know we need to build more homes across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and particularly increase the amount of affordable housing we have.

“This is a step towards making this happen so that our children can look forward to making their own homes here, in the communities they’ve grown up in.

“Housing associations are a key partner in bringing affordable housing forward, so it’s great news that we now have this shared set of objectives to work from.

“I welcome the commitments made by Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in this statement and look forward to working with them to ensure we see some real results as quickly as possible."