Matt Rodda MP and Cllr Tony Page visits local homes helping first time buyers

Local Stonewater residents were delighted to welcome their local politicians to their homes at Robert Parker Road in Reading this morning (Friday 18 January). Member of Parliament for Reading East, Matt Rodda MP and Cllr Tony Page from Reading Borough Council have spent the morning visiting the leading housing association’s affordable housing development, to see how local housing providers are helping people onto the housing ladder.

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Robert Parker Road, built by Stonewater in 2017, consists of 60 properties that are available for shared ownership, affordable rent and social rent. When the site was approved it was the largest number of affordable housing units on one site in the Reading area for 10 years.

Robert Parker Road is named after local accountant Robert Parker, who volunteered his services to local charities and voluntary groups across Reading. He was a Trustee and Treasurer of Reading Voluntary Action and was Treasurer of the Reading Community Welfare Rights Units for 26 years until his death in 2013.

Mr Rodda and Cllr Page met with members of the local Stonewater team who gave them a tour of the development, which falls in Mr Rodda’s constituency and Cllr Page’s ward. During the tour they explained the benefit of shared ownership as a way of helping people onto the property ladder, and how Stonewater supports them to progress to purchase more of their property.

Stonewater’s executive director of housing, Sue Shirt said, “It was great to welcome Matt Rodda and Tony Page to Robert Parker Road to talk about how housing associations can help people get onto the housing ladder. Stonewater has nearly 600 homes for affordable and social rent, as well as for shared ownership in Reading, which is a key area for us. We believe that in the face of current challenges for those seeking to get on the property ladder, developments such as this provide an important route into home ownership for many local residents.

“We were pleased that the local elected representatives support the ambition for more individuals to access affordable home ownership and encouraged Matt to press for national publicity on how shared ownership works and can help. We need to ensure that shared ownership becomes a go to product for new aspiring owners.

“I hope both Matt and Cllr Page found the visit insightful and that they will continue to actively support housing associations in Reading to help residents onto the housing ladder.”

Matt Rodda MP said, “There is a serious shortage of affordable housing in Reading East and I was pleased to see the work Stonewater is doing to help local residents.”

Cllr Tony Page commented, “As a local councillor I know there is enormous demand for much more affordable housing in Reading - not only to rent but also to buy – and welcome Stonewater’s recognition of the need to promote a range of options to help local people.”