Council Plan For £83 Million Spend On Affordable Homes

Investment in sheltered and homeless housing also

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An £83 million investment programme for affordable homes across the borough- the largest investment in a generation- was agreed by councillors at last nights (July 30) cabinet meeting.

Hundreds of families will be helped into new, affordable homes across the borough which is under pressure as the demand for homes exceeds the supply.

The population of the borough is expected to grow by 3 per cent between 2014-2018.

The plans could see almost 500 new affordable homes being built for local residents, alongside 48 sheltered housing units and 50 hostel units, over the next five years.

The plans have been drawn up after changes to Government policy last year mean the council now has control over the income it receives from its social housing stock.

The proposals include using £54 million from the housing revenue account – the income the council receives from its housing stock – to pay for 259 new affordable homes, 48 sheltered housing units and 50 hostel units. A further 224 affordable homes could be built if councillors agree to borrow a further £29 million.

Councillor Steve Curran , cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration at the council, said: “This would be the largest investment in affordable housing in the borough for a generation. Now we have the control over the income we receive from our housing stock, we can use this to invest in building much-needed new homes, and improving existing housing.

As well as building new homes, the plans include rebuilding sheltered housing at Rectory Court and Hogarth Court to provide 48 new sheltered flats, and refurbishing Frogley House.

To help tackle the problem of rising homelessness in the borough, 50 hostel units will also be built as temporary accommodation for households who need emergency accommodation.

The plans include 88 new affordable homes built as part of the Heston leisure development, as well as a further 171 at priority sites across the borough owned by the council.

A consultation will held for local residents to comment on the plans.

July 30, 2013