First new council homes to be built in town for 25 years are unveiled

New council homes for Berkhamsted. Farm Place.
New council homes for Berkhamsted. Farm Place.

The first new council homes to be built in Berkhamsted for more than 25 years have been unveiled.

Dacorum Borough Council is one of the first council’s off the starting block in developing new homes for social rent and is investing £50 million in building 300 new homes across the borough by 2020.

Farm Place in Berkhamsted is a development of 26 homes, which meet code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and built to Lifetime Homes Standard. This means the properties will be suitable to meet the needs of the family for a lifetime and will be easily adaptable for residents with disabilities.

Leader of the council Andrew Williams said: “It’s important for us in many ways. It’s the first new housing we’ve been able to build in 25 years. That’s a significant landmark for the people of Dacorum.

“It’s the first because of the ways housing finance has been. Previously councils have been encouraged to support housing associations rather than build directly themselves. But in 2012 there was a change which has enabled councils to have a self-build programme.

Amid spiralling rental prices, Dacorum Borough Council is working to hard to deliver a programme of social rent homes for local residents.

Mr Williams said: “This will increase the supply of good quality affordable housing in Dacorum. We live in a fairly expensive part of the country, and for some people the prospect of owning their own home is fairly unlikely. For those people anything that increases the supply of good-quality affordable housing has to be a good thing.

“And for the wider community it’s good news too. We want to keep families and communities together, and not have people feel they have to move further away because they can’t afford the cost of living and get priced out of living here. “

The council has also completed on two other developments in Hemel Hempstead - a nine, two bedroom development of super energy efficient flats and a 41-bed homeless hostel, which is run by the charity DENS and has the capacity to eradicate rough sleeping in the borough.