MORE than 70 affordable homes in a desirable rural borough are now on the market to buy or rent.

The houses and flats in Ribble Valley towns and villages are available to residents with a local connection.

They are on offer for affordable rents or to buy through shared ownership, discount sale, and rent-to-buy schemes.

The 70-plus properties are available for over-55s and local households with annual earnings between £15,000 and £80,000, in some cases with a minimal deposit.

They include two and three-bedroom houses, two-bedroom bungalows and one-bedroom apartments in Clitheroe, Barrow, Whalley and Longridge.

Developed by social housing organisations, including Onward Homes which has built Rose Gardens in Clitheroe, they are part of fulfilling Ribble Valley Council's commitment to include 30 per cent of affordable homes in all new housing developments.

Discounts are available to people with a local connection for up to 40 per cent below the market value, while shared ownership allows purchasers to buy between 25 and 75 per cent of a property, with an affordable rent on the remainder.

New homes are also available for rent below market value in line with the borough's local housing allowance.

Rachael Stott, Ribble Valley Council’s housing strategy officer, said: “Affordable properties are built to a high specification, with modern bathrooms, contemporary fitted kitchens, turfed gardens and dedicated parking.

“They are an ideal way for some residents to access the housing market and we are delighted that properties have become available in Clitheroe and Whalley, where affordable homes are particularly scarce.”