Wednesday, January 18, 2017

News: Council welcomes housebuilding cash

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Rotherham Council has welcomed the financial backing from the Government for its plans to help hundreds more residents to get on the housing ladder.

Earlier this month the authority secured £6.8m under the Government's expanding affordable housing programme. This followed from being named in the first wave of 30 local authority partnerships to receive a portion of the Government's £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund.

As part of a wider housing strategy, the Council has been developing proposals to kickstart housing construction in the town centre where financial viability is an issue for the private sector due to site constraints and values.

Across the country, thousands of new homes backed with financial support will help more first time buyers into home ownership. They will be built exclusively for first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old at a discount of at least 20% below market value.

Rotherham Council said it would see a range of affordable housing options being built for residents. The £6.81m will be used to deliver an additional 227 much needed new, affordable homes in the borough.

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Tom Bell, assistant director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services at Rotherham Council, said: "We are pleased that Rotherham again is amongst the first authorities to benefit from this round of funding and this fits with our ambitions to make sure that Rotherham is a place where opportunity is extended to everyone, where people can grow, flourish and prosper, and where no one is left behind.

"Our strategy is to increase the amount of decent, quality, affordable homes for rent and sale over the next few years to ensure that we have enough housing within the reach of people on modest incomes, as well as tackling the urgent need for more homes in the Borough and contribute to the wider regeneration of Rotherham."

The Council is working with development partners and Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) on the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes' Programme to scope out the options and get the build underway. By expanding the different types of home ownership available, to include affordable Rent, Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy, the programme will help meet the housing needs of a wider range of people in different circumstances and at different stages of their lives.

Bosses believe that there is potential for 2,000 new homes in the town centre. Initial Council-owned brownfield sites include the long-vacant Henley's Garage site of a former garage and car showroom on Wellgate where planning permission has previously been granted for 180 apartments.

Millfold House and surrounding properties on Westgate could make way for 116 units and the site of the former Sheffield Road swimming baths has the potential for 158 units.

Images: RMBC


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