Thrive at Home

Building Society helping to meet affordable housing need

Harborough MP, Neil O’Brien, visited a new homes development in Market Harborough recently to see how the town’s Building Society is helping meet the affordable housing need.

Market Harborough Building Society (MHBS) has invested £1.1 million into four new homes at Wellington Place off Leicester Road to help those most in need to have a place to call home.

MHBS, one of the country’s fastest growing building societies has purchased four new two and three bedroomed houses built by William Davis as part of its ongoing commitment to support local people to have a happy, safe and secure place to live.  This is on top of three homes the Society bought in Lutterworth in 2022.

The Society has now purchased seven houses, in a total investment worth £2.2 million. The homes will be allocated on an affordable rent basis to those most in need in what is thought to be a unique initiative in the country. They will now be handed over to Midlands housing association Platform Housing Group, which also manages the existing three properties.

What did Harborough MP, Neil O’Brien have to say?

Mr O’Brien said, “By buying these properties, Market Harborough Building Society has made it possible for people in need of housing to live in high-quality homes in a lovely area. It was great to have a look around before new families move in, I know they will be very happy living here.

“Market Harborough Building Society has a long tradition of doing good things in the community, and it is certainly wonderful to see this. I would like to thank all involved in this fantastic local project.”

Our CEO Iain Kirkpatrick had the pleasure of talking to Mr. O’Brien about our affordable homes programme..

MHBS CEO Iain Kirkpatrick who met with Mr O’Brien and representatives from Harborough District Council to tour the homes, said, “We’ve been helping people save and get on the housing ladder for over 150 years. But in all those years, home ownership has never been as unaffordable, inaccessible, and unavailable as it is now. There simply are not enough of the types of homes people need and that can lead to homelessness, people being trapped in temporary accommodation, or left paying high rents which can force people into poverty.

“We’re pleased to be able to play a small part in helping some of the most vulnerable people in our community access affordable housing, and at the same time keeping local people in the places they want to live.”

The Harborough District Council commented about the local housing struggles…

Cllr Simon Galton, Deputy Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with Market Harborough Building Society and Platform Housing Group and on bringing these wonderful properties into the social housing stock within Harborough district.

“Like all councils we have a large waiting list, and this initiative comes at a time when the council is finding it difficult to deliver affordable homes on new housing sites due to funding challenges. These homes are therefore very welcome and demonstrates how the building society is committed to improving the lives of residents in its local area.”

How the Society aims to support it’s local community…

MHBS was established with the primary purpose of allowing people in working communities to save and borrow so they could get the home they wanted and support their families, so this latest initiative is very purposefully aligned with the ambitions of its founders.  So far it has invested more than £2 million into its affordable homes programme and has plans to invest in more homes later this year.

The Society consulted with its members on its plans to invest its reserves in community good causes as part of its Thrive Agenda and has progressed in this latest investment with their full support.

Mr Kirkpatrick added, “A house is not just bricks and mortar.  It’s a place to call home; a safe, permanent place to live and the foundations to thrive – and for us that is something everyone deserves. We are proud to be in the position, with the support of our members, to use our financial reserves to provide access to homes for local people, which reflects the founding principles of our sector.”

Families who will benefit from the new homes are selected based on criteria set by Harborough District Council.  It is expected the new families will move into their new homes in the next few months.

*As reported by the press on Monday 4th March 2024