THE UNVEILING of an affordable housing development has spurred a pledge to increase supply in Bolton amid a 'housing crisis'.

Park Grove in Westhoughton is the site of 21 new houses due to be finished in February with the first buyers moving in early that month.

The two and three bedroom houses on Park Road are under shared ownership with Bolton at Home.

The shared ownership model allows those wanting to buy a house purchase a share of the property and then rent the rest at a reduced rate.

Residents then have the option to buy a bigger share of the property later.

Park Grove is the first new build, shared ownership scheme ever run by Bolton at Home and five of the homes have been bought under this payment system so far.

Jon Lord, group chief executive officer of Bolton at Home, said: "It recognises people want choice in affordable housing, whether it’s working towards owning your own home or renting a property at a rate you can afford."

The unveiling of the houses led to the signing of an agreement between Bolton at Home and councillors, including the leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Linda Thomas.

The memorandum promised greater collaboration between Bolton at Home and the council to increase new housing provision and improve existing homes.

Cllr Thomas said: "While we already work closely with Bolton at Home, the agreement we’ve signed will ensure our aspirations to deliver housing growth and regenerate communities remain aligned.

“The new homes at Park Grove look fantastic and offer a great opportunity for local people to get on the housing ladder in a more affordable way.

Mr Lord added: "We will reinvest the money we secure through shared ownership sales into our housing stock as a whole and regeneration projects that benefit our customers and communities more widely.

“We plan to provide shared ownership options in other areas of Bolton, which will complement our plans to develop more new-build schemes for affordable rent and supported housing.”

Bolton at Home has already committed to bringing 1,400 new properties to the local affordable housing market over the next five years, as well as investing £19 million annually in refurbishing its housing stock of around 18,000 homes.

The Park Grove development is currently under construction by the Casey Group on a brownfield site, formerly a council depot which had become a 'magnet' for anti-social behaviour. The development became cause for concern due to a neighbouring property built in 1609. A request was made for two of the new houses to be moved further away from the historic building and was resolved.