Work is set to start on plans to build 35 new homes, including new council houses, in Oxford.
The Oxford City Council project will take place over two sites, Cumberlege Close and Elsfield Way, with work starting in Cumberlege Close next month and Elsfield Way in the autumn.
The two sites are twinned and together 43% will be council housing provided at social rent (15 of 35) and 9% will be provided as shared ownership (three of 35).
Social rent is set by Oxford City Council at about 40% of average market rents in an area. The expectation is that the project’s three-bedroom council homes will be provided for less than £150 per week.
Both projects are being developed by the City Council’s wholly-owned company Oxford City Housing Ltd, with the construction carried out by Feltham Construction Ltd.
New homes in Cumberlege Close
The City Council will build a row of nine new family houses, including two two-bedroom, four three-bedroom, and three four-bedroom homes.
Each home will have a private and rear garden, dedicated secure cycle parking, and solar panels on the roof.
All nine of the homes will be provided for social rent and available to people on the City Council’s housing waiting list.
The project will start mid-August and will take about a year to complete. It is hoped that the families will be able to move in to their new homes from September 2021.
New homes in Elsfield Way
The City Council will build a three-storey block of flats comprising nine one-bedroom flats and 17 two-bedroom flats.
Two of the flats will be wheelchair adaptable; all 26 flats will have a balcony or outside terrace and secure cycle storage; and the block will have a shared courtyard area and solar panels of the roof.
Six of the homes will be provided for social rent and available to people on the City Council’s housing waiting list, while another three will be provided for shared ownership.
The project will start in the autumn, with the aim of completing the homes in summer 2022.
Oxford’s housing crisis
Oxford is regularly listed as being the least affordable place to buy a house in the country. Last year, Lloyds Bank found that average house price in Oxford are £460,184 – 12 times the average annual earnings in the city.
There are currently about 3,000 families on the waiting list to receive social housing in Oxford. In November 2017, 60% of the households on the register were under the age of 44, and half had dependent children.
The City Council set up Oxford City Housing Ltd as one of its responses to the city’s acute housing crisis. The main aims of the housing company are to increase the supply of new housing and social housing, and to provide a financial return to the City Council to help protect front-line services.
Oxford City Housing Ltd is currently building scores new homes across Oxford, including two sites in Rose Hill, Bracegirdle Road, Mortimer Drive and Broad Oak, Between Towns Road, Speedwell Street and Bertie Place. Further projects will be announced soon.
“As everyone knows, Oxford has an urgent need for new homes.
“We created our publicly-owned housing company to address this need, and I am delighted that work has started on another development.
“This project will build new homes for low-income families on Oxford’s housing waiting list, and shared ownership homes for young people to get onto the housing ladder.”
Councillor Mike Rowley, Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing