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Study shows social benefit of housing investment

New research carried out by Housing Plus Group has revealed that local communities benefit by up to £11 for every £1 invested in affordable housing and retirement living accommodation.

The group, which works across Staffordshire and Shropshire has placed a value on the social return on investment for some of its major development projects, taking into account factors such as increased support for village schools and shops as well as reduced pressure on overstretched health services.

Some of the most significant social return on investment was recorded in areas around new Extra Care communities such as Pencric, in Penkridge. The group invested £14m in the award-winning scheme, which was completed in 2014.

Research measured the financial return on the project for the local economy in factors such as increased employment and a reduction in hospital stays and GP appointments. The study found that every £1 invested by Housing Plus Group produced a social return to the community of £11.01.

The study also looked at the impact of a new rural housing scheme in South Staffordshire. There, a monetary value was given to the contribution made by the development in sustaining village life through increased spending in local shops and pubs and support for amenities including the village school. Researchers also measured the impact of increased employment and business creation.

The study found that every £1 invested in the construction of the new development produced a social return of £8.54.

“In the last five years Housing Plus Group has invested £20m in rural housing and we are adding to our retirement living communities with the construction of River View, scheduled for completion this autumn,” said chief executive Sarah Boden. “We know that these projects improve the lives of individuals and families as well as helping village communities to thrive. The scale of the social return on investment underlines the importance of continued support for rural development.”