It can be hard to get a foot on the property ladder or find a secure affordable place to rent. Cherwell District Council's Build! development programme provides new housing opportunities for residents across the district. This often includes the chance to get involved with the finishing off of your property.
What is Build!?
Build! has obtained and developed sites across the district. Some of these are new build, often on formally derelict land, and some are refurbishments of empty buildings. Here are a few examples of what we have achieved between 2014 and 2016:
Newton Close, Bicester. This scheme was completed in the summer of 2015 and consists of 21 new build properties sold on a shared ownership basis. Residents were offered basic training in carpentry and decorating skills. They then helped to complete the inside of their home including finishing the internal walls, fitting the kitchen, fitting internal doors and skirting boards and tiling, decorating and landscaping their home. Residents were able to purchase between 50% and 75% of the property and pay a small amount of rent on the remaining part. Mortgages were available with a minimum of a 5% deposit (based on the value of the share).
Calthorpe House, Banbury. Completed in Spring 2016, Calthorpe House is a block of 15 brand new apartments in the centre of Banbury. Residents on the Council's housing register were offered the chance to get a brand new flat at an affordable rent in return for finishing their flats and were offered free training to improve their skills. Residents will have the opportunity to purchase their homes with a discount once they have lived there for five years.
St Leonards House, Banbury. This was an old property dating from Victorian times. It had been empty for some years and was falling into disrepair. The local community wanted it brought back to its formal glory and the Council purchased the property and renovated it to create five one and two bedroom apartments which were sold on a shared ownership basis to local residents.
Steeple Aston, near Bicester. Taking advantage of a small pocket of land the Council already owned in this rural village, the site was developed to provide two bungalows. One of these was sold as a shell at a value that reflected its unfinished state allowing the owner to finish it to their own budget.
What opportunities are coming up in the future?
We have a number of projects in the pipeline:
Gardeners Close, Bicester. A scheme of 42 two bed apartments across four separate blocks in a site near the new Bicester Village station and overlooking allotments. One block will be let as affordable rent and the remaining three sold on a shared ownership basis. These are due to be marketed in the Autumn of 2016.
Spring Walk and Spring Gardens, Banbury. A scheme of 18 two and three modern style bed houses to be sold as shared ownership and being marketed in Autumn 2016.
Fenny Compton Road, Claydon. A single detached two bedroom house that will be prioritised for people with a connection to the village or surrounding area to be marketed Autumn 2016. It will be offered as shared ownership property.
Hope Close, Banbury. This will provide 11 two and three bed homes for shared ownership and is due to be marketed late in the Winter 2016.
Details of these and the level of self build involvement in these schemes will be published once they are marketed.
The Causeway, Banbury. A detached three bed home being sold as complete as a shared ownership property. See marketing brochure attached. Please note this is NOT now being sold as shell as stated on the brochure.
Town Centre House, Banbury. This was formally an office block but has been converted into 39 one bedroom apartments for affordable rent. This is not a self finish scheme but does offer dedicated employment support for people looking for jobs or seeking to enhance their earning potential.
How can I get involved?
For rental schemes you need to be on the Council's housing register. A Homeseekers application form can be found here (126kb). Your eligibility for registration and housing need will be assessed. Registration gives you access to 'Homechoice' where you can express your interest in advertised properties.
For shared ownership schemes you need to be registered with Helptobuy South. https://www.helptobuysouth.co.uk. The site will check your eligibility and you will find details of all the shared ownership opportunities in this area. Expressing your interest in a scheme will put you on a shortlist and the Council will then contact you to take you through the next steps.
You can also complete the Build! online registration form which can be accessed from the right hand side of this page. We use this to contact you and let you know about any opportunities that might be of interest.