SOUTH Gloucestershire Council have released figures indicating a rise in the number of affordable houses across the area.

New developments in Emersons Green, Longwell Green, rural villages and Thornbury have all helped to contribute to the 386 homes.

The figure is the highest number of affordable homes to be completed across South Gloucestershire in any given year, and is more than was achieved in any of the other West of England Councils.

Cabinet member responsible for housing delivery, Cllr Erica Williams was very pleased with the progress the council has made.

"This is great news for people who need an extra helping hand to rent or part-own their first home," she said.

"The council works with the ‘HomesWest’ housing association partnership and with Homes England, developers and housebuilders to provide these homes either for social and affordable rent or shared ownership.

"As a local authority area where average house prices are above the national average at £250,000, having access to suitable housing is directly related to preventing homelessness and is vital to addressing other housing related support and social welfare issues.

"With new schemes in the pipeline, I’m confident that next year the number of completions will continue to rise so that more people will benefit from owning or renting their own home."

The breakdown in the number of affordable houses across the region is:

East Fringe - 39

Emersons Green - 117

Filton - 71

North Fringe - 33

Thornbury - 43

Yate - 20

Other rural areas including Coalpit Heath, Frampton Cotterell, Charfield and Cromhall - 45

Samantha Burge has recently just moved into an 'affordable home', and said: "We’ve somewhere stable to live at long last.

"The girls and Albie have their own rooms. It means we don’t have to worry about moving every six months.

"Albie has had each birthday in a different house until now. Here I can open the door and just let him play in the garden - we’ve even got him a paddling pool."