Plymouth’s largest social housing landlord has completed the purchase of 86 homes in the city which will be made available as affordable rent and shared ownership for local people in housing need.
Plymouth Community Homes is investing an estimated £21.5 million in the overall project to purchase and refurbish the former Ministry of Defence (MOD) estate at Hillcrest Close in Plympton, which includes 86 three-bedroom homes, 80 garages and a community centre.
The acquisition has been made possible thanks to grants from Homes England and Plymouth City Council totalling £7.6million to help fund the overall project cost.
The sale completed on 31st May 2023 after PCH purchased the estate from Annington. The properties have been leased by the MOD from Annington since 1996.
PCH now intends to refurbish the properties. Eleven are currently occupied, and these residents are now PCH tenants, with new, assured tenancies offering long-term security in their homes, and bringing to an end years of uncertainty.
A further 53 will be made available for social rent for local people in housing need, and 20 will be offered for shared ownership sale through PCH’s sales brand SO Living.
The purchase also includes a large community centre which PCH hopes to let to a local business or community group.
Andrew Lawrie, Head of Development at Plymouth Community Homes, said: “We’re delighted to have successfully completed the purchase of the Hillcrest estate with the help of the grant funding agreed from Homes England and Plymouth City Council. This is one of the largest investments PCH has ever made on a single purchase, with more than £17 million invested by the organisation in the purchase of the estate alone, and more funding allocated for the refurbishment works and associated fees.
“Hillcrest is a popular residential estate in a sought-after area of Plymouth and will now provide local people with a large number of spacious, three-bed family homes for social rent and shared ownership purchase.
“There is a growing need in Plymouth for good quality, affordable social housing so the Hillcrest estate purchase will help us enormously to ease pressure on the waiting list of people needing a secure home, many of whom are having to manage in temporary accommodation.
“It will also be rewarding to give this well-known estate a new lease of life, with many of the homes having sat empty for some time.”
The area is already popular with families, with the estate located close to both Chaddlewood and Glen Park Primary schools, and close to other amenities in the popular Plympton area.
Holly Miller, Director of Strategy and Communications at Annington, said: “This is great news for the local community and we are pleased to have been able to complete the sale to PCH. We are more delighted still that between us, we were able to keep many of the tenants in their homes.”