The importance of attracting more government money to build urgently
needed affordable rented homes in Peterborough was explained to
North-West Cambridgeshire MP Sir Brian Mawhinney when he made a
fact-finding tour of some of the city's established housing areas and
new developments on Friday 14 February.
The tour - arranged by
Peterborough-based Nene Housing Society - focussed on the work being
done by the society to provide energy-efficient new homes, improve
older properties and regenerate communities.
Nene chief executive Mark Rogers said:
"Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has just announced his
'Sustainable Communities' strategy to build thousands of more rented
homes in the South-East of England, with a good deal of the additional
funding going to areas such as London-Stansted, Cambridge and Milton
"Peterborough's housing needs
should be reviewed in the context of major growth in Cambridge and the
wider South-East region and we continue to work with the City Council
to make the case for increased grant funding for more, quality
affordable housing in Peterborough. We are also working on some
exciting developments that fulfil the government's requirement for
future homes to meet high environmental standards."
Sir Brian began his tour with a
briefing meeting with Nene chairman Sarfraz Khan and deputy chairman
George Berry at the society's offices in Lincoln Road. He then visited
several city areas where Nene is leading new initiatives to improve
living conditions for local people. These included:
Salaam Court, a recent development
off Cobden Avenue, in Central Ward, which provides homes for
members of the local Asian community.
Paston, where Nene has 300
properties and is leading a £750,000 multi-agency community
renewal project called 'Energy for Paston'. Nene is currently
working on the third phase of an environmental improvement
programme for the 20-year-old properties.
A new development of 16
energy-efficient homes at Highclere Close, Hampton Hargate, where
roof tiles incorporate photo-voltaic cells to convert solar energy
into electricity. Nene is planning a further 26 homes at Hampton
Hargate and has submitted a bid for funding for 30 more.
A recently completed development
of 25 homes at Mitchell Close, Bishop's Road, Peterborough, where
some residents transferring from Council properties believe high
standards of insulation and lower rents will save them £500 a
"Peterborough urgently needs more
good quality, affordable housing to meet the needs of key workers and
others whose household income means they cannot afford to buy their
own homes," said Mr Rogers. "We need to ensure this area is
given due recognition in the regional housing strategy."
A recent independent survey conducted
by the National Housing Federation revealed that Nene scored 87 per
cent for overall tenant satisfaction compared with a national average
of just 77 per cent. Nene exceeded national and regional averages by a
wide margin in categories such as value for money (87 per cent),
accommodation (90 per cent), repairs and maintenance (88 per cent) and
all aspects of communication with tenants.
Nene Housing Society was formed in
1973 and owns 3,000 homes in Peterborough, Northampton, Huntingdon,
Fenland and South Lincolnshire. It plans to build a further 100 homes