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A partnership between housing associations Gentoo, North Star and Bernicia has been successfully awarded funding of £3.9m by the Homes and Communities Agency to fund a range of products that will help local people gain access to home ownership.

The Verve Partnership’s successful bid will see 115 homes built across the North East over the next five years, with the breakdown of each partner’s development plans below:

Gentoo’s share of the funding, which equates to £525,000, will be used to part fund a pilot project around the shared ownership of 15 new homes across the North East. The funding has not been earmarked for any particular housing development at this present time. Sunderland-based Gentoo, which owns and manages more than 28,000 homes across the city, is currently building more than 500 homes both for sale and for rent across four new developments in Sunderland. This includes, Meadow View in Houghton-le-Spring, Castle Rise in Downhill, Thurcroft in Doxford Park, Hillcrag in High Ford and its forthcoming development in Glebe, Washington.

North Star’s share of the funding, which equates to £2.1million, will be used to build eight homes for shared ownership, twenty eight homes available for rent to buy and twenty four specialist housing units.

Bernicia’s share of the funding, which equates to £1.3million, will be used to build thirty homes for shared ownership and ten homes available for rent to buy.  They will build the majority of these through their own construction division, using local labour and creating apprenticeships, training programmes and work experience opportunities.

Following the Government’s announcement of their plans to reform the housing market in the release of their housing white paper, “Fixing our broken housing market” earlier this month, this significant funding for the partnership will help contribute to the supply of new homes across England and help expand and diversify the housing market to cater to people’s needs in the North East.

Ian Self, Chair of Gentoo Group, said:

“We’re pleased the Verve Partnership bid to the HCA was successful. The funding Gentoo will receive as part of the bid will help us to pilot the shared ownership of new homes in the North East as part of the Government’s home ownership agenda. We remain committed to helping meet Sunderland’s diverse housing demands by building new homes for sale and for rent across the city, as our current development programme of more than 450 homes shows. We also have some exciting new plans which we hope to announce very soon – we’re very excited.”

Andrea Malcom, Director of People, Bernicia said:

“Building homes aligned to housing markets across the Region is of primary importance to us, the funding secured alongside our own significant investments will see us build new homes across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham.  We will also add value with programmes to develop and retain skills and expertise in the North East construction industry.”

Emma Speight, Executive Director of Assets and Growth, North Star Housing Group, said:

“We’re delighted to be involved in a partnership that helps bring new homes to the North East, and this successful bid to the HCA is a great step forward to help meet the diverse housing needs in our local areas. The funding that North Star will receive will be used to create 60 new homes across the North East as part of our wider development ambitions”