TWO new developments are set to be built in Oxford to help tackle the city's housing crisis.

Work will start on 35 homes at Cumberlege Close, Marston, and Elsfield Way in Cutteslowe this autumn, with more than half of the properties available for social rent or shared ownership.

The twinned sites are the latest to be developed by Oxford City Council's company Oxford City Housing Ltd, which aims to increase the supply of new and social housing.

Several projects are already under way and Mike Rowley, the city council's cabinet member for affordable housing, hopes it will benefit those who might need a helping hand.

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He said: “As everyone knows, Oxford has an urgent need for new homes.

“We created our publicly-owned housing company to address this need, and I am delighted that work has started on another development.

“This project will build new homes for low-income families on Oxford’s housing waiting list, and shared ownership homes for young people to get onto the housing ladder.”

Cumberlege Close will get a row of nine new family houses, including two two-bedroom, four three-bedroom and three four-bedroom properties.

Each one will have a private and rear garden, dedicated secure cycle parking, and solar panels on the roof.

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All nine of the homes will be provided for social rent and available to people on the council’s housing waiting list.

The project will start halfway through next month and will take about a year to complete, with families expected to move in from September 2021.

Meanwhile, the city council will build a three-storey block, comprising nine one-bedroom flats and 17 two-bedroom flats in Elsfield Way.

Two flats will be wheelchair adaptable, while all 26 will have a balcony or outside terrace and secure cycle storage.

The block will also have a shared courtyard area and solar panels of the roof.

Six of the homes will be available for social rent to those on the City Council’s housing waiting list, while another three will be provided for shared ownership.

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Work will start in the autumn, with the block set to be completed in summer 2022.

Oxford is regularly listed as being the least affordable place to buy a house in the country.

Last year, Lloyds Bank found the average house price in Oxford was £460,184 – 12 times the average annual earnings in the city.

Social rent is set by Oxford City Council at about 40 per cent of average market rents in an area, with the project’s three-bedroom council homes expected to be provided for less than £150 per week.

Meanwhile, there are currently about 3,000 families on the waiting list to receive social housing in Oxford.

In November 2017, 60 per cent of the households on the register were under the age of 44, and half had dependent children.

Oxford City Housing Ltd is currently building new homes at several sites across the city, including two in Rose Hill, Between Towns Road in Cowley and Speedwell Street in the city centre, with more projects set to be announced.