Once in a generation deal to bring more affordable homes to Preston

Preston City Council and Onward Homes have unveiled a new partnership that will boost the number of affordable homes in the city.  

On 29th February, Full Council approved an agreement that will enable Preston City Council to acquire up to 20 homes from Onward at Horrocks Mill and in time apply to develop its own social housing, signalling the delivery of the first council-owned housing in a generation.  

This partnership cements both organisations shared commitment to increase the amount of quality affordable homes in Preston and will help even more local people to put down roots in the area.  

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader at Preston City Council, said: 

“In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of affordable rented homes being built in the city. Despite more than 400 affordable homes being built across Preston in the last year – the highest in Lancashire and for many years – there still remains a need for more as there are long waiting lists. 

“Preston’s Labour Group has had a longstanding aspiration to deliver the first council-owned housing in Preston in a generation. We are now actively exploring options, through direct investment, ownership and through a partnership approach, to assist in meeting local housing needs for good quality, affordable homes.  

“In the longer term we hope to deliver a substantial number of new council homes, if resources allow, whilst continuing to support existing registered social providers. Seeking Council approval is an important step in achieving that ambition.” 

Sandy Livingstone, Executive Director of Property at Onward, said: 

Onward shares the Council’s vision to boost the number of quality, affordable homes in Preston. We have worked with the Council to develop our plans for the area to ensure these meet the needs of local people and align with wider ambitions for the city.  

“This agreement cements our shared commitment to do more and will help to increase the number of genuinely affordable homes in the area. As we embark on our transformative plans for Horrocks Mill, we look forward to working with the Council to enable them to deliver the first council-owned housing in a generation.” 

In November, Onward’s plans to build up to 380 new homes at Horrocks Mill were approved which will transform this derelict brownfield site into a thriving new community. The redevelopment of Horrocks Mill supports the vision set out in the Stoneygate Masterplan to regenerate this area and bring quality affordable homes into the city centre. The homes will include a mixture of apartments and homes suitable for families, with affordable rent, rent to buy, and shared ownership properties for those that are struggling to get onto the property ladder.