Council takes steps to encourage more affordable homes in the district

​Date: 8/12/2015

PR ref: 5217

Wakefield Council is to offer more help to not-for-profit organisations to encourage the building of more affordable homes in the district.

A report going to the Council's Cabinet on December 15 is expected to approve a recommendation to lift or minimise legal conditions imposed on registered providers of affordable homes acquiring land from the Council at less than the best price or acquiring property from developers.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet member for economic growth, said that at the end of 2013 there were over 20,000 people on the Housing Register for an affordable rented home in the district.

Cllr Jeffery said the Government had cut grants for new affordable homes for 2010, leaving registered providers to foot 80% of the bill for new homes, usually through commercial borrowing with just 20% coming from the Government.

The Government's Right to Buy scheme now extended to include housing association tenants further depletes the stock of affordable homes available to rent, she added.

"We need more homes so that people can live and work in the district.  Affordable housing underpins our economic growth.  If companies are to invest or expand here, they will create jobs and the people coming to fill those jobs need somewhere to live.

"By lifting or minimising legal conditions attached to acquiring Council land and property from developers, we will be freeing registered providers to borrow more money to try and cover the reduction in Government grant aid," said Cllr Jeffery.