16 homes for 16 locals - job done says Mayor on village visit

Mayor Johnson visit to Wicken homes scheme

Job done: Nigel Howlett, chief executive of the CHS (Cambridge Housing Society) Group that oversaw the project at Wicken met Mayor Dr Nik Johnson. - Credit: CAPCA

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson visited Wicken near Soham to celebrate completion of 16 affordable homes – built with the help of £640,000 from the combined authority.  

Cambridge Housing Society – a social enterprise and charitable housing association - welcomed the mayor to Hawes Lane where 11 affordable rented and five shared ownership homes have been completed.  

“The site is fully occupied by families with young children, all of whom have a connection to Wicken or the surrounding villages,” said a combined authority spokesperson.  

Nigel Howlett, chief executive of the CHS (Cambridge Housing Society) Group that oversaw the project, met Dr Johnson. 

“They discussed the challenges of securing land for affordable housing and the experiences of the families that they have been able to support at this new development,” said the spokesperson.  

“After discussing the design of the houses and their environmental standards (all the units have air source heat pumps to help with lower carbon emissions) the mayor asked about the building methods used. 

“They discussed the difficulties smaller companies have when it comes to adopting modern methods of building and ensuring more sustainable ways of living.   

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Dr Johnson said: “It is wonderful to see a development like this that is supporting members of its local community. 

“And it is good to see so many young families able to actually live in the area that they have a connection to.  

“These projects are essential, and we need to continue working with parish councils to discuss how we can access suitable land for more affordable housing in our towns and villages. 

“We want to encourage greater collaboration between all the organisations involved in designing and building sustainable affordable housing.”  

Based in Histon, the CHS Group provides and manages over 2,700 low-cost rented and shared ownership homes. 

On average they build 80-100 affordable homes in the region every year.  

The combined authority’s affordable housing programme has so far delivered 1,449 houses across 45 schemes. 

CHS says that for rural areas to thrive, they need affordable homes for families to grow.  

“Parish councils recognise that affordable homes enable families to remain within the communities they have been brought up in and where they may have an existing family support network,” it says. 

“Keeping new and growing families in the local area supports rural services and businesses which may be threatened with closure.”