A COUNTY Hall project to ensure 20,000 'high quality homes of a mix of tenures' by 2033 has been extended into Purbeck and East Dorset.

Dorset Council's Opening Doors initiative was originally launched two years ago to tackle the housing crisis by the then Dorset County Council.

The scheme, which councillors said could make home ownership a reality for thousands of people, works to encourage housebuilders of all sixes, developers, housing associations, community land trusts and others to build all types of homes – including for rent, open market sale and affordable properties.

Initially covering the North Dorset, West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland, now the Opening Doors has been expanded to cover Purbeck and East Dorset.

Dorset Council housing cabinet member Cllr Graham Carr-Jones said: "I am delighted that we will be extending the reach of Dorset Council’s Opening Doors programme to cover Purbeck and East Dorset.

"This strengthens our aim of seeing 20,000 high-quality homes of a mix of tenures, built between 2016 and 2033.

"It is no secret that Dorset faces an increased demand for housing and people from different walks of life are struggling to find suitable properties, meaning they are having to move away from the area. This also has an impact on employers who find it hard to attract new talent to the area. Through our Opening Doors programme, we aim to meet this ever-growing need and make it easier for those who may be finding it difficult to stay in our beautiful county.”

One of the affordable housing projects supported by Dorset Council is a new scheme in Worth Matravers.

A Dorset Council spokesman explained: "If you have a connection with Worth Matravers and are looking to get on the housing ladder East Boro has a number of one and two bed properties soon to be available for purchase at 75 per cent market value to people with a local connection to the area.

"For instance, already living in the parish or a family or employment link. You can find out more information on this development on the Opening Doors affordable housing masterlist. There will be more developments advertised in the New Year including a soon to be completed development in Swanage."

You can sign up to the affordable housing masterlist for monthly updates on developments online.