YOUNG care leavers in Wokingham have been given a helping hand onto the property ladder thanks to the opening of an affordable housing scheme.

The development on the corner of Reading Road, which consists of seven bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, and two bedsit apartments, was built in response to increasing demands for affordable living options for young care leavers in Wokingham Borough.

The scheme benefited from a Homes England, Platform for Life grant of £304,000 which, combined with commuted sums of developer contributions in lieu of affordable housing, meant Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) were able to instruct its own development company, Wokingham Housing (WHL) to build the scheme on its behalf. Loddon Homes has since been instructed as caretaker and landlord.

Since moving in, residents Caitlin and Simone have worked to make the multi-roomed house a home, including displaying their artworks in the communal areas and working to establish a vegetable patch in the garden.

Simone said: "Reading Road already feels like a home, the move here has had a very positive impact on my outlook. The house is very bright and spacious and this can only increase your positivity. The on-site care team, P3, also really help with this, they provide strong support that focuses on our well-being.”

Cutting the ribbon on the new development, Peter Jones, Head of Affordable Housing and Supply for the South West from Homes England said: "Schemes such as Reading Road are exactly what the Platform for Life grant programme has been set up for. Homes England is passionate about providing housing for young people aged 16-25 that are either homeless or at risk of homelessness.

"Low rent accommodation such as this gives young people the housing and support they need to achieve their life aspirations be that through work, education or a vocation.”