Orbit is celebrating ownership of its 40,000th home in the heart of one of its largest regeneration schemes in East Anglia.
Recognised as one of the UK’s largest developing housing associations, Orbit marked the significant milestone with an event on the community green at the location of the 40,000th home in Stowmarket, Suffolk.
Prospective parliamentary candidate for Bury St Edmunds, Jo Churchill and a number of local councillors joined Orbit Board members, staff and customers to celebrate the occasion officiated by Baroness Tessa Blackstone, Orbit Board Chair and Councillor Nick Gowrley, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council.
Baroness Tessa Blackstone said: “Orbit has invested in providing quality homes and services to support its customers since 1967 and this celebratory event marks the organisation’s delivery of affordable homes across all types of tenure, ensuring people of different ages can live in a home they can afford.
“I would like to thank our staff, customers, partners and our Board for their hard work and commitment to the success of Orbit.”
The location of the 40,000th home is part of Orbit’s £23m Unity Redevelopment project formed of six sites across Stowmarket, Woolpit and Haughley. The redevelopment is a multi-phased regeneration built in partnership with Mid Suffolk District Council and developer Lovell.
Councillor Nick Gowrley said: “We are all facing challenges meeting the rising demand for housing, with a rising population and increased life expectancy requiring ever more homes. For that reason it is great to see a housing association hitting a landmark figure of 40,000 homes and moving forward to deliver even more.
“We work hard in Mid Suffolk to ensure we meet our strategic priorities, one of which is to build the right type of house in the right location, but we need partners like Orbit to deliver those plans and provide real homes for our communities.”
The development has benefitted from a grant contribution of £6.4m from the Homes and Communities Agency and once complete, will transform 86 post-war Unity constructed homes, into 174 homes for social and affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sale.
Simon Medler, Regional Managing Director at Lovell, Orbit’s development partner for Unity, said: “We have enjoyed a strong partnership with Orbit over a number of years, providing much needed homes for local people as well as community benefits including valuable job and training opportunities. We are very proud to have helped build Orbit’s 40,000th home and look forward to continuing to work together to develop new homes and thriving communities.”
Jo Churchill, prospective parliamentary candidate for Bury St Edmunds, added: “Access to suitable housing is a crucial issue for the whole of the Bury St Edmunds constituency. When I first visited Orbit, the £23 million Unity Redevelopment Project was in its early stages. It is a delight to see the transformation that has been achieved. Touring the development, speaking with staff and new occupants, it is great to see quality, affordable homes built for the needs of residents.
This regeneration project, delivered in partnership between Mid Suffolk District Council, Orbit and the developer is a welcome addition to Stowmarket and its community.”
Celebrating 50 years as an organisation Orbit, recently reported record growth having developed 1,788 new homes across its operating areas in the last financial year.