Two Castles Housing Association has started work on 13 affordable homes in Northumberland for local people who are in the greatest housing need.
The £1.7m affordable housing development in Bellingham, which is being which is being part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with support from Northumberland County Council, is aimed at local people with a connection to the village or local area.
Due to be completed by May 2013, the development called Bridgeford View is being built on land adjacent to existing Two Castles' properties at Briar Hill in the North East of the village and will include five, two-bedroom bungalows as well as a selection of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes.
Rob Brittain, property services director at Two Castles Housing Association, said: "A mixture of high cost of private rents, as well as an increase in second homes ownership has contributed to a lack of suitable housing within rural areas of Northumberland - especially for younger people, who are being forced to move out of the area because they cannot afford to live in the village where they grew up."
The Bridgeford View development is being built in partnership with Newman Developments to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 standards. It will be constructed to reflect existing properties in the village, using traditional building materials such as natural slate roofs as well as stone elevations and rendered walls.
Trevor Newman, company director at Newman Developments, said: "We're very pleased to be working alongside Two Castles on this important affordable housing project for local people in Bellingham.
Northumberland County Council works across the county to promote and enable the development of affordable housing and has helped to facilitate the scheme at Bellingham.
Councillor Tom Brechany, executive member responsible for housing at the council added: "It is great to see this development get underway. We know the importance of affordable homes to families and young people who wish to stay in the rural area where they grew up, or who work in the area. I look forward to seeing the properties built and let to those in housing need."