Exeter prisoners to build council houses as part of new project

Exeter Prison offenders will help build new council houses on a brownfield site in the Devon city. Credit: Exeter City Council

Prisoners will help tackle Exeter’s shortage of affordable housing as part of a new project by the council.

Up to 15 homes will be built on a brownfield site in Lower Wear Road after nearly £300,000 was secured in government funding.

The project is one of four across Devon that will see brownfield sites - which is developed land not currently in use - converted into housing.

The scheme in Exeter will also make use of the Prisoners Building Homes programme, with offenders from Exeter Prison used to construct the new homes.

Offenders from Exeter Prison will help build the new homes (pictured: HMP Exeter).

Cllr Barbara Denning, who is Exeter’s lead councillor for council housing, said: “I am delighted with this funding which will help deliver much needed affordable housing in the city.”

The Lower Wear Road scheme is one of a number of sites that Exeter City Council is looking at building new council homes on.

This site forms part of the local authority’s overall Housing Revenue Account development programme, which aims to deliver 500 new council houses by 2030.

Other projects across the county set to benefit from the funding are:

  • Shapland Place and St Andrews Estate (Mid Devon District Council) - creation of 14 affordable modular homes.

  • St Kildas Brixham (Torbay Council) - provide 23 affordable homes to be delivered by 2025.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, added: “I’m pleased that a number of areas across Devon and Torbay will benefit from this latest round of funding and we’ll be bidding for more in future rounds. 

“The One Public Estate programme is ensuring vital gap funding is making it possible for these essential housing projects to go ahead which is good news for local residents and our local economy.”