Low cost housing on the way to help the 5,900 in the queue for council homes
New council homes being built in Berkhamsted are beginning to take shape – and the work is due to be finished by March next year.
The 26 flats and houses will be let at affordable prices to people who are on the housing register.
But they will only go a small way towards meeting demand from the 5,900 people currently in the queue for council homes in Dacorum.
A 2012 report highlighted a ‘chronic shortage of affordable housing’ across the borough.
This sparked Dacorum Borough Council to give the go-ahead for plans to build the first council homes in the area for more than 25 years.
A new strategy to build at least 300 between 2013 and 2020 was launched in November.
A forward to the strategy, signed by leader of the authority Andrew Williams and his deputy Margaret Griffiths, lays out the reasons for the construction work.
It says: “Dacorum is one of the most desirable places to live in the south east of England, with excellent transport links and several areas of outstanding natural beauty.
“As a result, homes are in high demand and expensive.
“In order for people to continue to be given an opportunity to live here, the council has given very high priority to increasing the supply of affordable homes.”
According to Dacorum Borough Council’s website, the average cost of renting one of its two-bedroom homes is just £370 per month – compared to £953 in the private sector.
The average house price in Dacorum is now £317,464 and the average first-time buyer is aged 31, according to figures on the website.
Berkhamsted’s new homes are being built in Farm Place – a cul-de-sac between the High Street and Durrants Lane.
The blueprint provides for eight one-bedroom flats, 12 two-bedroom flats and six three-bedroom houses.
There will also be 37 car parking spaces and two spaces for disabled drivers included in the development.
The new homes will be built by award-winning firm Hill Partnerships and will be the most energy efficient in Dacorum.