Oldham housing association First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) has secured a £95 million funding package to deliver 700 new homes by 2026.

The funding from Santander UK is also set to support FCHO’s plans to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.

The association, which has more than 11,300 homes in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside, plans to expand into nearby Calderdale and Kirklees, in a bid to provide more affordable and energy efficient homes over the next three years.

By 2026 FCHO aims to create 700 new and sustainable homes to increase the amount of affordable housing available locally, with a mix of houses and apartments for affordable rent and shared ownership planned.

The Oldham Times:

A new FCHO home.

The new homes will be built to achieve energy performance certificate (EPC) level B or above and use low-carbon heating alternatives to fossil fuels to help to meet future net zero carbon targets and provide homes that are cost-effective to run.

The funding will also contribute to the social housing provider's decarbonisation work to make existing homes more energy efficient, and support customers to cut their energy bills and carbon emissions.

Double glazed windows, heat pumps, smart meters, and loft wall cavity and external wall insulation are among the retrofit measures that will boost the performance of some of the housing association's least energy efficient homes.

Andy Ewart, director of finance at First Choice Homes Oldham, said: “I am delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with Santander UK.

"Securing this funding allows us to build 700 much-needed homes across the area with a total investment of £110m.

"The funding package also supports the first phase of our sustainability strategy, improving the energy efficiency of our existing homes.”

Robert Simmons, relationship director at Santander UK, added: “Having supported First Choice Homes Oldham since it was first established in 2011, we are proud to provide it with this latest £95m funding package.

"This will not only enable it to provide hundreds of affordable new homes – both rental accommodation and shared ownership – to the Oldham community but also supports its work to enhance the energy efficiency of its existing properties.”