Council chiefs are expected to sign off almost £550,000 towards four shared equity homes in Rowledge “for people who cannot afford to buy or rent houses”.

East Hampshire District Council’s cabinet will meet tonight (Thursday) to agree the funding for the homes on the corner of Fullers Road and the A325, to be delivered in partnership with Bewley Homes and Merlion Housing Association.

The council’s £547,500 investment will come from its Affordable Housing Developer Contributions pot.

This comprises sums paid by house builders who have fallen short of affordable homes targets on their own estates.

The proposed two two-bedroom and two three-bedroom shared equity homes were granted planning permission at appeal, as part of a ten-home estate acquired by Bewley Homes in July. The other six homes will be a mix of four and six-bedroom two-storey houses.

East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has previously funded 39 shared equity homes across five sites, in the past five years, all in partnership with Merlion Housing Association.

These homes were all sold to people in housing need at discounts of up to 50 per cent market value, with no rental element.

It is expected that the Fullers Road homes will be offered with a 40 per cent discount on open market value, to people with a household income of below £80,000 per annum.

This is in line with Bewley Homes’ planning agreement, which requires the affordable homes in Fullers Road to be “available to people who cannot afford to buy or rent houses generally available on the open market”.

The council will retain equity in each of the four Fullers Road homes, at a value of 25 per cent above its invested sum.

Should any of the homes be sold in the future, the council will return the funds to its Affordable Housing Developer Contributions pot for reinvestment in more affordable housing.

Council papers state: “The expectation is that funds received from redemptions will be considerably greater than the original investment, as they will be subject to the initial 25 per cent enhancement, plus house price inflation.”