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Norwich to embark on new era of council house building

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Norwich to embark on new era of council house building


Published by Anonymous for in Housing and also in Local Government

Norwich to embark on new era of council house building Norwich to embark on new era of council house building

New council homes are set to be built in Norwich for the first time in more than 20 years.

The landmark move comes as the council’s cabinet prepares to agree an investment strategy for new affordable homes and approve two schemes that will bring 54 new council homes to the city. Working in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the council is looking to develop land at Bowthorpe for up to 1,000 new properties.

The intention is that the first phase of around 180 homes would include 47 council-owned as well as eight shared equity homes – with an initial purchase price of 75%. A further seven council and four self-build homes are proposed for land at the end of Pointers Field.

Councillor Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “We know in order to keep Norwich a prosperous and vibrant city, it is essential we do all that we can to meet local need for jobs and homes. That we are on the brink of such a radical change, entering an era where it is again going to be possible for us to provide good quality homes families are in desperate need of, is very exciting indeed. We will ensure that as well as the homes being of excellent build quality, they will have eco-features, meaning they will be economical to run.”

The potential to build new council homes has been made possible since the previous housing subsidy funding system - the Housing Revenue Account - was replaced. Rather than paying rent income over to the government, councils can invest the money locally for the benefit of current and future council tenants.

This money, along with prudent borrowing and investment thanks to the Norwich City Council and HCA strategic partnership, means the council can plan to build up to 300 new council homes in a decade, and even more beyond.

The building programme will also provide a much needed boost to the jobs market. Through the Building Futures in Norwich project, homes will be built with a contractor workforce made up of at least 10 per cent of people new to the labour market – either young people or those who have been unemployed.

Akin Durowoju from the HCA with responsibility for the Norwich partnership says: “Our long-term partnership with Norwich council means we’re able to reach agreement on what’s best for the city up-front and speed up the process of delivering homes and jobs for local residents. As well as investing in the future of Norwich, we’ve also been supporting the council by offering expert advice on the development of Bowthorpe and we look forward to seeing work start on the first high-quality homes there.”

Norwich City Council’s cabinet will make a decision on whether to adopt the proposed new investment strategy and give the go-ahead for building new homes in Bowthorpe and next to Pointers Field at its meeting on 14 November.


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