Local housing association Aster Group has been selected as one of Homes England’s strategic partners, securing funding of £114 million to deliver 1,550 new affordable homes across southern England by the end of March 2028 .
Aster will use the funding from the government’s housing agency to build 51% of the homes for purchase using shared ownership, and the other 49% for affordable and social rent.
Shared ownership is an affordable way onto the housing ladder. Buyers purchase a share of a property and pay rent on the remaining share. This reduces the size of the initial deposit required and if they want to, purchasers can buy more shares in their property (known as staircasing), eventually leading to outright home ownership.
This is the first time Aster has applied for a strategic partnership with Homes England. Following a comprehensive application process, the Group was one of 31 affordable housing providers chosen to have access to the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Jane Gallifent, development and sales director for Aster, commented on the new partnership: “During the last financial year we delivered 101 new affordable homes in Somerset alone. With this new funding from Homes England we’ll now be able to deliver a further 1,550 during the next five years across our regions, in addition to those that we already had in our plan.
“We’re very pleased to have been accepted onto the AHP which unlocks some more funding for us and supports our development strategy to build more affordable homes, and deliver on our vision that everyone has a home.”
Under the AHP, Aster has committed to building 25 per cent using modern methods of construction (MMC), and will use high-quality sustainable design, work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and commit to adopting the government’s new shared ownership model.
Homes England entered into 31 new strategic partnerships with 35 organisations to deliver 90,000 new affordable homes across the country. Nearly £5.2bn of the £7.4bn funding in the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 that Homes England is responsible for will be delivered via these strategic partnerships.