Eastlight funds fully affordable development in Braintree

Apartments in Victoria Square

Every home at a new development in Braintree town centre will be affordable following a major investment by Eastlight Community Homes.

Eastlight Community Homes has agreed to buy 35 one, two and three-bedroom apartments at the Victoria Square development from Braintree District Council.

The initial planning agreement would have seen 12 homes offered for shared ownership and the remainder put up for private sale.

Eastlight’s £7.1 million investment, including a £1.5 million grant from Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, means all of the apartments will be affordable. 12 will be available for social rent, with the remaining 23 available for shared ownership.

In summer 2020, more than 1,000 customers took part in a survey about Eastlight’s future. The majority said focusing on affordability, including providing more homes for social rent, was key for them. A significant number of the 3,800 new homes we plan to build over five years will be available for social rent.

Shared ownership helps people who cannot afford to buy on the open market get on the property ladder. In much of Essex, including Braintree, shared ownership is usually more affordable than paying market rent.

Emma Palmer, Chief Executive at Eastlight Community Homes, said: “I’m pleased that this investment will help more people in our communities who are in need of an affordable home and support the regeneration of Braintree town centre. My thanks go to Homes England and everyone involved for making it possible.

“Our ambition is to build 3,800 new homes over five years for those who need them, including a significant number for social rent.”

Eastlight’s investment is supporting Braintree District Council’s regeneration project, which also includes a health hub, hotel, bus interchange and new public spaces.

The homes are due to be completed in November.