Work starts on new council homes in Otterbourne and Itchen Abbas

Press Release: 15/08/2013

Construction vehicle with builders

Work has started on site on the first new council homes to be built in Winchester in over 30 years.

FE Chase & Sons Ltd are building three 3-bedroom terrace houses on a former garage site owned by Winchester City Council at Bourne Close in Otterbourne.

This will be followed by the second batch of new council homes, also starting this month: two 3-bedroom and three 2-bedroom terrace houses also to be built by FE Chase & Sons on a former garage site and sewage pumping station owned by the City Council at Station Close in Itchen Abbas.

The houses will be council-owned and let at affordable rent to people on the waiting list with local connections to Otterbourne and Itchen Abbas respectively.

The cost and affordability of housing in Winchester District is a serious problem. There is a genuine shortage of affordable housing in Winchester, with demand for affordable housing massively outstripping supply and the number of people on the waiting list increasing monthly. In June 2013, there were 2611 households on the housing waiting list, with people having to wait six years for a family home.

Average house prices in the Winchester town area are over £350,000 and an income of more than £60,000 is required to get a mortgage for a two-bed property. Not only does this affect families wishing to move to a suitable home, but also young people wanting to set up home for the first time and older people keen to downsize. This has a knock-on effect for the area’s economic prosperity and the quality of life of residents.

Providing affordable housing can help tackle these problems and delivering new homes is a priority for the City Council. In many cases, the new homes will be made available to people on the waiting list with a local connection. This will help maintain sustainable communities, allowing families to live close to one another and people to live in the areas they grew up in.

The Council has plans to build several hundred much-needed new affordable homes across the Winchester district which will include homes for rent and for shared ownership, family homes, homes for single people and for those with a disability.

Housing will not be built for profit; it will be to meet the needs of Winchester people who cannot afford a home of their own. The City Council will work with individual communities where schemes are proposed to deliver the best possible outcomes for the local area.