Innovative housing initiative underway in Gateshead

Pictured ready to start work on the Hyde Park Street housing project are (L/R) Eli Halberstadt, Kitson Keen, Sean Egan, Cllr. John Adams and Chaya Spitz.

Construction of 62 new affordable homes, including 20 for Gateshead’s Jewish community, is underway in Gateshead, England through a collaboration between the local council, housing providers, and the Jewish community.

The Gateshead Regeneration Partnership (GRP) is using finance created from the sale of around 50 houses to be built elsewhere in the borough to part fund the project in Hyde Park Street.

The innovative initiative – which is also being supported by Homes England – unlocks the potential of the 2.88 acre site, formerly occupied by terraced housing, which has stood empty for more than a decade due to prohibitive redevelopment costs.

GRP comprises Gateshead Council, housing, construction and regeneration specialist Vistry North East and affordable housing provider Home Group – which will offer 42 of these new homes for affordable rent and shared ownership.

The development of 20 specially designed homes for Jewish residents has been made possible by a collaboration involving Adler Housing – a registered provider of social housing under the Jewish Community Council of Gateshead – London based Agudas Israel Housing Association and Homes England.

Large enough to accommodate extended families, features in these homes include a room with a sukkah – a retractable roof – and kitchens compatible with observance of Kosher dietary practices, including two sinks and sufficient counter space.

Chaya Spitz, CEO with Agudas Israel Housing Association, said: “I am delighted that this exciting initiative, which has been many years in the planning, is coming to fruition, thanks to joint working by our colleagues from Gateshead Regeneration Partnership and the local Jewish community.”

Eli Halberstadt, chair of Adler Housing, commented: “We are delighted that the Gateshead Jewish community has the opportunity to provide high quality, bespoke housing which would provide ample living space for families. We are especially pleased to partner with Agudas Israel on this project.”

Kitson Keen, Director of Development at Home Group, added: “This is an excellent example of collaborative working which is delivering much needed affordable homes in the Gateshead borough.”

Cllr. John Adams, Gateshead Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said “As a local resident I know this area and the local community are crying out for family homes with gardens, so I’m delighted we have been able to play a positive role to make this development happen.”

Sean Egan, Managing Director with Vistry North East, said: “It was a long and complex process to align all the partners but we can now see the value of our efforts as we start work on homes that will meet the diverse housing needs of local people and unlock the potential of this piece of unused land.”

The development which made the affordable homes initiative possible is the construction of two to five bedroomed homes on the site of the former Hookergate School in High Spen. Work here is well underway with the first homes expected to be available later this year.

GRP’s vision is to create around 2,500 new homes on 16 sites across the borough in a £350 million initiative. To date around 500 have been built on eight sites. As well as improving housing quality and choice, the initiative is providing job and training opportunities – a minimum of 25% of which go to local people – and an economic uplift – a quarter of the supply budget is committed to businesses within the borough.

*Picture caption: Pictured redy to start work on the Hyde Park Street housing project are (L/R) Eli Halberstadt, Kitson Keen, Sean Egan, Cllr. John Adams and Chaya Spitz.

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