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Housing association claims 'more new builds needed in Three Rivers'

More new houses need to be constructed in Three Rivers, Hertfordshire, according to a local housing association.Thrive Homes - which owns and manages more than 4,000 rented and leasehold properties in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire - has called upon politicians, developers and landowners to build new social housing in the district, after a recent report revealed it was the most expensive place to rent a home outside of London.The study, produced by the National Housing Federation (NHF), said that tenants renting in the private sector in Three Rivers are in a position where they are needing to spend more than 50 per cent of their monthly pay on rent, with the average bill costing £1,372, according to the Watford Observer.Elspeth Mackenzie, chief executive at Thrive Homes, said of the report: "It supports our strategic goal to develop new homes in the area and the fact we secured £125 million worth of funds in the spring to achieve this."Our goal is to provide 150 more homes over five years, but we need support to achieve, hopefully exceed, this as the need for affordable housing increases."She said that the NHF report reveals how crucial social housing is and how much value for money it can provide, adding that average rents for Thrive Homes are around a third of those in the private sector, without compromising on quality.Between 2001 and 2014, 2,584 new homes have been built and Three Rivers' council claims 258 affordable properties have been constructed since 2008. Approximately 4,000 of the 37,000 in the district are categorised as social homes.Councillor Martin Trevett, lead member for housing, planning and transport at Three Rivers district council, agrees with Ms Mackenzie that more affordable housing is needed and welcomes Thrive's commitment to providing 150 new builds over the next five years.He added: "Since 2001, there was a net increase of 2,584 new homes in the district, in a mix of sizes and our district target is for 180 new homes per year to be built."The NHF's report has urged politicians to commit to ending the UK's housing crisis within the next generation, as it feels this would be a solution to the problem of a growing number of people living in unaffordable accommodation in the private rented sector. 

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