A housing association has completed a multi million-pound project aimed at reducing the amount of people on the housing register.

Colne Housing’s £2.9 million scheme has seen 22 new homes built off Colchester Road in Halstead.

The new properties, which are being rented out to people on Braintree Council’s housing register, form part of the 103 home development on the former Central Park industrial site.

The 22 new homes, which were funded by Colne Housing and created in partnership with Iceni Homes and Braintree District Council, include one and two-bedroom apartments, terraced houses and semi’s, as well as one three-bedroom detached bungalow.

Lynette Bowers-Flint, Braintree Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said: “This development opportunity meets one of our main priorities - to provide local residents with much-needed affordable housing.

“We are committed to continue working with residents and partners, building more well-designed homes for affordable rent in our district.”

The new homes have been officially unveiled during Rural Housing Week which is a national initiative aiming to shine a light on how affordable housing can breathe life into rural communities.

Colne Housing which has an estimated 3,000-homes across Essex and Suffolk, will continue to manage the properties.

Chief Executive Sara Thakkar said: “There is a desperate shortage of affordable properties across rural areas in the Eastern region and Halstead is no different.

“We are therefore extremely pleased to have partnered with Iceni Homes and Braintree District Council to build these much-needed local homes to local people.”

Among the new tenants now living along Colchester Road is father of two Lee Mobley. Mr Mobley, 40, has moved into one of the new one-bedroom homes at the site after years without somewhere to live.

He said: “For two years I was homeless due to a relationship breakdown. To have my own home again is tremendous, it means I can start thinking about the future. At last I have a place my two daughters can come and visit and am now able to get back to work. It is life-changing. It is home.”