NINETEEN new homes are being made available for people on Oxford's council house waiting list ahead of Christmas.

The 19 homes include nine three-bedroom town houses and a block with three one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom flats, all newly built at Barton Park.

The houses have been built as part of the first phase of development at the estate, known as Mosaics.

Oxford City Council was given the keys to some of the new homes at the end of November, and housebuilding company Hill will hand over the rest this week.

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All 19 of the properties will be made available for 'social rent', usually pegged at 40 per cent of the normal market rental rate in Oxford.

When it is finished, Barton Park will have 885 'tenure-blind' new homes, meaning that the more expensive and the cheaper homes will look similar to one another

Out of the finished homes, 354 or 40 per cent, will be let at social rent by OCHL – including 95 of the 237 homes on Mosaics.

Oxford Mail:

Alex Hollingsworth

Alex Hollingsworth, city council cabinet member for planning and housing delivery, said: “These are genuinely affordable homes making a vital contribution to tackling systemic inequality and improving opportunities for people in our city.

“When the development of Barton Park is completed that number will rise to 354 homes at social rent. But this is only the beginning.

“Over the next 10 years OCHL will deliver 2,245 new homes. Of these, 1,125 will be council homes and a further 301 will be in other affordable tenures like shared ownership – helping meet the needs of our city’s families for secure, stable and affordable homes.”

Half of homes in Oxford are now in the private rented sector, where the ONS reports a median private rent of £1,500 a month for a three-bedroom home.

The equivalent amount for England as a whole is £795.

There are 2,355 households on Oxford City council’s housing waiting list, as of the start of December.

While many of the new homes at Barton Park are being set aside for affordable rates or prices, some are not.

In September, a five bedroom house at the Mosaics area of the site was on sale for £1,170,000.

The price was described as 'absolutely crazy' at the time.