A £7.8 million affordable housing scheme has been completed in Malton.

The houses, built by Broadacres Housing Association, are being allocated to people with a connection to Ryedale, as part of its strategy to ensure that rural communities remain affordable for future generations.

In total, Broadacres, in partnership with its contractor Lindum York, has built 56 homes on a 3.4-hectare site off Rainbow Lane.

The scheme, known as The Furlongs because of Malton’s links to horse-racing, includes one, two and three-bedroom houses and two-bedroom bungalows, with 20 homes for shared ownership and 36 homes for affordable rent.

Gail Teasdale, chief executive of Broadacres, said: “Ryedale is consistently voted as one of the best places to live in the UK and one of the reasons is because of beautiful market towns like Malton.

“This is great for the town and the local economy, but it also inevitably leads to an increase in the cost of buying and renting a house in the town, which has a detrimental impact on local people seeking a home of their own.

“Our development was built specifically with these people in mind and we’re delighted to have completed work and seeing the first residents move in is fantastic.

“Whether it’s renting or buying, we are making living in Malton more affordable and ensuring the market towns like this remain sustainable for future generations.”

Lindum York director James Nellist said: “We are really pleased to have successfully handed over these much-needed new homes.

“The project progressed very well, and we were happy to work alongside other local contractors and suppliers to complete the work, particularly York-based Dean Construction and Groundwork.”

Cllr Keane Duncan, leader of Ryedale District Council, which backed the scheme, said: “High house prices and high private rents have meant that there’s a huge demand for affordable housing in our district, that’s why affordable housing is one of the council’s priorities.

“We are committed to working with partners to ensure a supply of affordable housing to both rent and buy in the district that are available for local people.

“We need to ensure that affordable housing is available, so that young people and families can remain in the district. Plus, older people have the ability to downsize and have access to much needed bungalows in the area.”