Purchase of 54 new homes will help people in Stafford

Former MoD quarters will be used to provide homes for people who need affordable housing in Stafford, thanks to an expansion by a housing association.

Aspire Housing has bought 54 two-bed houses in Beaconside, Stafford, from Annington Homes.

They were originally part of the former married quarters estate of the Ministry of Defence, and they had until recently been leased to Staffordshire University as student accommodation.

Aspire Housing is part of the Aspire Group, a social business that provides housing, training and neighbourhood services mainly in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent.

Refurbishment work will begin in March and the first of the homes will be let later in the spring.

The refurbishment and maintenance work will also be used to create apprenticeship opportunities at Aspire’s sister company PM Training, which has a base close by on Staffordshire Technology Park.

Young people aged 16 to 18 will be able to learn construction and grounds maintenance skills through the contracts that are let to refurbish and maintain the properties.

Sinéad Butters, Aspire Group chief executive, said: “These are our first properties in Stafford although our training company PM Training has been operating in the town for many years.

“It is very unusual for large groups of properties to come to market in this way, so this is a great starting point to establish our presence in the town.

“Once the properties are refurbished, they will be let to new Aspire residents, greatly improving the availability of affordable housing in Stafford.

“In addition the refurbishment and maintenance work will create a variety of training and learning opportunities, so we will be helping young people from Stafford into jobs.”

Stafford Borough Council cabinet member for planning and regeneration Councillor Frances Beatty added: “One of our top priorities is the prosperity of our community and to be able to have much needed affordable accommodation is key to achieving this.

“It is great to hear that the properties will be having major refurbishment before coming on to the rental market and good news for many local families looking for suitable homes.”

All of the Aspire homes will be refurbished and offered for affordable rent under the Homes and Communities Agency’s affordable homes programme – which helps housing associations fund purchase and building of new homes.

The refurbishment will bring the homes up to the required standard for affordable housing and will include renewal of kitchens, bathrooms, doors and roofing.