Sage Homes and Southern Housing’s affordable partnership delivers its first homes

Sage Homes, England’s largest provider of newly built affordable housing for the last two years, and Southern Housing are calling for more partnerships between registered housing providers and housing associations as customers prepare to move into their first joint development.

The 43-home development at Ransley Field in High Halden, between Ashford and Tenterden in Kent, is a mix of Shared Ownership and Affordable Rent houses, bungalows and maisonettes with one to four bedrooms.

Of these, 21 are available for Shared Ownership customers who buy part of the home and rent the rest. The other 22 homes will be allocated for Affordable Rent by Ashford Borough Council to people on its waiting list who are assessed as being in priority housing need.

The Ransley Field homes are the first to be built under the £106m partnership signed in autumn 2021 between Sage Homes and Southern Housing. This covers 420 affordable homes on six sites across London and the South East, which Southern will manage and receive funds to invest in building its own additional affordable homes.

Sage Homes’ first customers at Ransley Field are expected to move into their new homes in April. Representatives from Ashford Borough Council, High Halden Parish Council, Sage Homes and Southern Housing met on Thursday (23 March) to mark the milestone with a tour of the new neighbourhood and the opportunity to meet residents.

Mark Sater, Chief Executive Officer at Sage Homes, said: “We are pleased to be working with Southern Housing to deliver these beautiful, affordable and spacious houses in High Halden for local families who need homes.

“The economic climate for the wider sector is tough right now, but we remain committed to playing our part in delivering more new affordable homes across England.

“Key to everything we do is partnership working, and the 420 homes we are delivering with Southern Housing across the South East – including these at High Halden - shows what can be done. We’re always looking to work with like-minded housing providers and local authorities, and we are keen to explore more new partnerships with housing associations.”

Paul Hackett, Chief Executive Officer at Southern Housing, said: “By working in partnership with for-profit associations we can leverage our expertise in providing services while continuing to develop new homes for those in need. Investment of this type in the sector also helps Southern Housing re-invest the proceeds into our existing homes and also more high-quality, land-led affordable housing schemes in the future.”

Sharon Williams, Head of Housing at Ashford Borough Council, said: “I am really pleased to see such an innovative approach to ensuring that new affordable homes can be delivered in Ashford for those in housing need. This scheme in High Halden will go some way towards helping families achieve appropriate housing in the area.”

Customer case study – the Champkins family

In the coming weeks local residents Robert and Jasmin Champkins, who have lived in High Halden for around eight years, will be moving into a newly-built, affordable three-bed detached house at Ransley Field with their sons Alfie, aged five, and three-year-old Rupert.

Robert (above left), who works in insurance, said: “We have been looking to move for a few years - having two children we needed a bit more space. We were looking to upsize but were struggling to do it without Shared Ownership.

“It meant a lot to find these houses being built in the village – we would’ve looked at surrounding villages but the best option was staying in High Halden and now we’ll be walking distance of the school.”

The 38-year-old added: “It has everything we wanted, really - the house itself is really lovely and the garden was a pleasant surprise. We took the boys there at the weekend as they hadn’t seen it – they love it and were picking out bedrooms and are excited to be moving in.”

Pictured above: Robert Champkins (front), who is moving into one of 43 newly built affordable houses at Ransley Field in High Halden. Stood behind are Southern Housing CEO Paul Hackett (left) and Sage Homes CEO Mark Sater (right). Photo by Scott Ramsey.