A HOUSING association has vowed to build nearly 1,800 new homes and pump £73million into improving its existing properties in the next six years.

Greenfields Community Housing, which is based in Braintree, made the announcement when setting out its new strategy, Building Communities Together last week.

The firm, which manages social housing across East Anglia, has unveiled the ambitious plans in an effort to help "tackle the housing crisis".

The strategy has been shaped by Geenfields board members, staff and residents who all agreed to prioritise investing in repairs and support services for those living in properties run by the housing group.

They all agreed there was also a need to provide more new homes, especially ones that are available for social rent.

Building Communities Together will commit Greenfields to building an estimated 1,800 new affordable homes by 2025.

It will also see the association spend £73 million on existing homes to ensure quality and keep energy bills low.

Greenfields Chief Executive Emma Palmer said: "Building Communities Together underpins our ambitious commitment to play our role in tackling the housing crisis in the East. We can’t wait to start delivering this strategy by working with residents and partners to deliver outstanding new homes and brilliant services in our communities."

Chairman Dale Butcher added: "Our new strategy marks an exciting new direction for Greenfields, building on our excellent customer service, resident involvement ethos and financial strength to provide genuinely affordable homes and services in communities that need them."

Greenfields is already set to be responsible for 9,000 affordable homes in Essex and Suffolk by next year.

The association was formed back in 2007 following a stock transfer from Braintree Council.

Resident group Community Group, which was formed to give residents a say on how Greenfields is run, has also endorsed the new strategy.

Chairman Ken Davies said: "Residents’ views both helped shape this strategy and will continue to be at the heart of Greenfields. I’m particularly pleased it includes a large investment in residents’ homes and a focus on ensuring new homes can be afforded."

To watch a video unveiling Building Communities Together before reading the full strategy, please visit greenfieldsch.org.uk/building-communities-together-strategy.