Council bosses are promising a social housing revolution in Leeds, with the building and delivery of almost 1,000 new council homes “to be proud of”.
With more than 20,000 people on the council housing waiting list, city decision-makers have launched a new £20m drive – part of a wider £52m housing growth pot – to plug that gap.
The new homes, to be built in pockets across the city, will be part funded by receipts from the sale of Right to Buy properties, and partly by using money saved by the recent abolishment of the ALMOS and bringing services in-house.
Bosses are also set to lobby the Government for further funding, and for further devolved powers to expand the city’s stock.
Many of the new homes will be in developments already being planned or built, as part of new ‘affordable housing’ agreements between the council and builders.
It is hoped the new drive will deliver a next-generation level of social housing which will be quality accommodation suitable for family growth and will use innovative designs which are modern, energy saving and flexible.
Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds city council’s cabinet spokesman for neighbourhoods and planning, said: “We want people to associate our housing with the best, and to move away from an era when council housing was looked down on. These will be properties which will develop a legacy of civic improvement Leeds can be proud of.”
He said the allocations process would also be changing, to include not just information held on the waiting list, but also “wider demographic projections and economic factors”.
Ideas include fast-tracking tenants who have an “exemplary” record for the new build properties.
The first properties will become available this autumn.