Residents have begun moving into a new £7.8 million affordable housing scheme which was built by Lindum in a popular North Yorkshire market town.

Developed by Broadacres Housing Association in Malton, the homes are being allocated to people with a connection to Ryedale, as part of its strategy to ensure that rural communities remain affordable for future generations.

It comes as housing associations across the UK come together for Rural Housing Week (6th to 10th July), an event aimed at reinforcing the message that housing is vital for the survival of rural communities and services.

In total Lindum York built 56 homes on a 3.4-hectare site off Rainbow Lane, between Dickens Lane and the Rainbow Equine Hospital.

An area formerly used as farmland has been transformed into mixed tenure scheme – known as The Furlongs because of Malton’s links to horse-racing – catering for all members of the local community.

The scheme consists of one, two and three-bedroom houses and two-bedroom bungalows, with 20 homes for shared ownership and 36 homes for affordable rent. All the homes are being allocated people with a connection to Malton and the wider Ryedale district.

Of the 20 homes for shared ownership, 15 have been sold in just three weeks, all to local people, with the remaining five set to be snapped up by the end of July.

Gail Teasdale, Chief Executive of Broadacres, said: “Ryedale is consistently voted as one of the best places to live in the UK and one of the reasons is because of beautiful market towns like Malton.

“This is great for the town and the local economy, but it also inevitably leads to an increase in the cost of buying and renting a house in the town, which has a detrimental impact on local people seeking a home of their own.

“Our development was built specifically with these people in mind and we’re delighted to have completed work and seeing the first residents move in is fantastic.

“Whether it’s renting or buying, we are making living in Malton more affordable and ensuring the market towns like this remain sustainable for future generations.

“This plays an important part of our strategy to provide great homes, great places and great customer experiences.”

Lindum York Director James Nellist said: “We are really pleased to have successfully handed over these much-needed new homes. The project progressed very well, and we were happy to work alongside other local contractors and suppliers to complete the work, particularly York-based Dean Construction and Groundwork.

“Lindum and Broadacres previously worked together on a housing development at Leeming Bar and it is great that we have completed another successful development in Malton.

“We hope it will lead to further partnerships in the future.”

The land at Rainbow Lane was gifted to Broadacres by The Fitzwilliam Trust, a charity/landowner which has been in Malton for centuries. They recognised the need for more affordable homes and chose Broadacres to provide the scheme based on its experience and proven track record of being able to deliver high quality affordable homes in rural areas.

Following a consultation exercise, Broadacres devised a scheme which would meet the needs of all sections of the local community. So, for example, by building two-bedroom bungalows, it is enabling older people the chance to downsize and still remain in Malton, whilst at the same time freeing up more family homes in the town. The two and three-bedroom homes are predominantly aimed at families and the one and two-bedroom properties will help single people and couples seeking to get on the housing ladder.

Homes England, the national housing and regeneration agency for England, provided grant funding of £2 million towards the scheme.

The scheme also has the backing of Ryedale District Council. Affordable housing is one of the authority’s priorities.  House prices and rents are expensive locally when compared with the average income, making it extremely difficult for local people who have a low income to afford to buy their own home. To tackle this, the district council works in partnership with local housing associations to provide affordable homes. Efforts to deliver new affordable homes in Ryedale have been welcomed at every step.

Councillor Keane Duncan, Leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “High house prices and high private rents have meant that there’s a huge demand for affordable housing in our district. That’s why affordable housing is one of the Council’s priorities. We’re delighted to work with Broadacres Housing Association to provide much-needed low cost homes for rent and sale.

“We are committed to working with partners to ensure a supply of affordable housing to both rent and buy in the district that are available for local people. We need to ensure that affordable housing is available, so that young people and families can remain in the district. Plus, older people have the ability to downsize and have access to much needed bungalows in the area.”