A Salford housing association has launched a new affordable home-ownership brand to support its bold ambitions to deliver more affordable homes to help tackle the housing crisis.
Salix Homes, which owns 8,000 homes across Salford, has launched Willo Homes in a bid to increase housing choice and deliver more affordable housing opportunities in the city. As a not-for-profit organisation, any profits will be reinvested back into improving homes and communities across Salford.
Sue Sutton, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “The launch of Willo Homes marks another major milestone in the Salix Homes journey and will help us deliver our vision to build more desperately-needed new and affordable homes.
"While Salford has been experiencing something of a housing development boom in recent years, the shortage of affordable homes in this area is well documented. Homeownership has become out of reach for many ordinary people, so we’re passionate about creating more affordable housing options."
“As a trusted social housing provider, with our foundations firmly rooted in Salford, we’re confident that we’re perfectly placed to deliver the right type of housing in the right places and ultimately help tackle the housing crisis.”
Willo Homes will specialise in affordable homeownership options including Help to Buy, Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy, as well as homes for market sale.
To coincide with the launch, Willo Homes has announced the first properties available for expressions of interest at Artifex – the flagship high-rise development in Trinity.
The £15million apartment block comprises 108 one and two-bedroom apartments, which will all be available under the Rent to Buy Scheme.
Rent to Buy is a government scheme designed to ease the transition from renting to buying a home by providing a subsidised rent at around 20% below the market rate. People will be able to rent the properties for five years at the reduced rate and then have the option to buy it after that period.
Terry McBride, development manager at Salix Homes, added: “Our aim at Willo Homes is to offer high quality homes for affordable homeownership to not only help people onto the property ladder, but also to give them a sense of belonging.
“Salford is a fantastic place to live and work and we aim to provide a home for every need, from city centre apartments to family homes, so we’re excited to unveil our first properties at Artifex. It’s a fantastic new development with a wonderfully rich history behind it, offering modern apartment living on the edge of Manchester City Centre.”
Artifex is named in honour of the late Canon Peter Green – a much-respected writer and minister at the nearby St Philips Church.
During the First World War and until the 1950s, Canon Peter Green wrote a weekly column in The Manchester Guardian - which was later to become The Guardian - under the pen name ‘Artifex’. He wrote about pacifism and compassion as well as articles about social injustice and the importance of housing, and is fondly remembered as a ‘real man of the people who loved the Salford people’.
Willo Homes will also soon be bringing to the market the next available properties at the Poets development in Swinton – a mix of two and three-bedroom homes available for sale with Help to Buy.