More affordable homes promised as housing associations merge

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 March 2018

Liverty hairman Linda Nash and chief executive Paul Crawford with staff. Picture: Liverty

Liverty hairman Linda Nash and chief executive Paul Crawford with staff. Picture: Liverty

Liverty

More affordable homes could be built in North Somerset after a major housing association merged with another firm.

Liverty chairman Linda Nash and chief executive Paul Crawford. Picture: LivertyLiverty chairman Linda Nash and chief executive Paul Crawford. Picture: Liverty

Knightstone Housing, based in Worle, is one of the largest employers in North Somerset.

It has merged with housing association DCH, based in Devon and Cornwall, to form a new organisation called Liverty.

Bosses have pledged to keep a base in Worle, at Weston Gateway Business Park, and say becoming a larger organisation means it will be easier to build more homes, including much-needed affordable ones.

A Liverty spokesman said: “Our target is to build 400-550 homes annually in the West of England and Somerset, and we’ll continue to identify new sites and opportunities to develop in North Somerset.

“We’re currently on site at Weston Airfield and in active negotiations to develop at three more sites in North Somerset.”

Liverty’s sites include Poppy Court in Worle, for armed forces veterans, and homes on Locking Parklands and Haywood Village.

A spokesman said: “As Liverty, we’ll continue to invest in our existing homes and communities throughout North Somerset and the rest of the West of England and Somerset.

“Our current teams will be out and about in our neighbourhoods offering the same tenancy and repairs services as we offer now.

“We’re dedicated to delivering a great service to our current and future customers, creating homes and places where people want to live.”

The merger should not have an impact on staff, and new job opportunities may arise as a result.

Liverty chief executive Paul Crawford said it will make a sizeable investment in the region in the coming years.

Mr Crawford added: “In coming together, our combined strength and capability allows us to develop new affordable and market homes of all tenures at an unrivalled scale in the South West with a projected capital investment in the local economy of over £2billion in the next decade.”

North Somerset Council sets a 35 per cent affordable homes target on new developments with 10 or more houses.

But Knightstone and DCH had a combined record of building 87 per cent affordable homes in their developments in the past two years.

As Liverty, it hopes to build 15,000 homes in the South West in the next 10 years.

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