A five-year partnership has been agreed between the council and four housing associations in a determined bid to tackle the lack of affordable homes across Farnborough and Aldershot.

Thames Valley, Sentinel Housing Group and Windsor Housing will join Pavilion in helping to draw up Rushmoor’s housing strategy and lobbying on housing issues.

The Mayor of Rushmoor, Cllr Brian Jupp, who helped to launch the partnership, is delighted.

He said: “We face challe-nging times to make sure we continue to meet the housing needs of the community.

“It is vital that people can afford to both work and live in this area if we are to ensure the future prosperity of Rushmoor and to maintain our sense of community.

“With this new partnership, we will be in a strong position to make sure this happens.”

A survey last year highlighted a need for more than 700 new affordable homes in the borough each year, as many key workers cannot afford their own properties.

With one-bedroom flats in Rushmoor starting at around £100,000 and monthly rents at about £500, a large proportion of new homes will need to be earmarked for people on low incomes.

Last April Rushmoor gave an extra 20 points to key workers, who include nurses, teachers and firefighters for their shared ownership housing scheme.

Under the council housing scheme — people are awarded points based on their personal circumstances and their needs. The more points a person has, the greater the possibility of being offered a house.

Local people who have been waiting for several years on the register for an affordable home were also given extra priority, and people already living in the borough had their points increased from five to 15.

Mervyn Jones, chief executive of Pavilion Housing Association, said: “We welcome Rushmoor Council’s support in our joint endeavour of creating new homes for people in need.

“That’s not just those in need of traditional rented accommodation, but also key workers and those just starting to buy their own home through our shared ownership schemes.

“There are many challenges ahead and we will need the full support of the community and the council to deliver.

“We will do our bit to provide quality services and support neighbourhoods.”