THE building of 18 affordable homes in a village near York could begin soon in what is said to be the first project of its kind in the country.

The £2million estate at Elvington will consist entirely of affordable homes and will be built without financial assistance from grants.

Instead it will be funded by private investor Roy Handley, owner of trucking company A1 Haulage.

The houses will be made available through a housing association and building work will begin as soon as negotiations have finished between builders Willow Design & Construction and an unnamed housing association in Wetherby.

Willow managing director, Anthony Hughes said: “York and North Yorkshire, like most of the UK, is very short of affordable housing which faces rapidly increasing demand since the financial crash.

“Clearly there is a shortage of housing generally and house-building is a good way to boost the economy and so many trades are involved in the whole process.”

The 1.5-acre estate will have eight three-bedroom houses, five two-bedroom ones, one four-bedroom house and four two-bedroom bungalows, all with private parking, front and back gardens, a communal cycle shed, a play area and communal area.

A dozen of the properties will be offered to rent through a housing association while six will be offered for joint ownership between the housing association and the occupants.

Mr Hughes said: “We are very keen to start work on the site and estimate that the entire estate will be completed in 18 months time.

“We cannot start work and discharge our duty to the local authority until we have reached full agreement with a housing association.

“We are in advanced negotiations with a housing association in Wetherby and hope to reach an agreement in the next couple of weeks so that the scheme can proceed without further delay.”