Council calls housing summit to kick-start building
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Development, Housing
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Wigan Council is to host a summit aimed at kick-starting housebuilding in the borough.
The local authority says that 1,000 new homes are needed a year to keep up with demand but only around 400 are currently being built.
Private developers, housing associations and other property firms have been invited to the summit to discuss the borough’s needs.
Councillor David Molyneux, the council's deputy leader, said: “If we don’t take steps now we could face a serious housing shortfall in the future. We’re simply not building enough houses, or indeed enough of the right kind of houses, to meet demand now and the likely demand in years to come.
“The council is doing all we can given our constrained financial situation. But we’re looking for outside organisations and private companies to help us meet the borough’s needs.
“We want to set out at this summit exactly what the demand is and get a discussion going about how it can be met.”
The summit, to be held on 31 January, will see more than 40 invited guests from the housing industry meet senior councillors and officials to discuss how to get the borough building.
The council has recently seen its core strategy, which lays out where housing development can take place, approved by the government’s inspector. It is currently in the process of building 250 affordable homes and last year helped 50 first-time buyers onto the property ladder through a successful mortgage scheme.
Councillor Molyneux added: “We’ve seen signs the property market is picking up in the borough and that should mean developers and other organisations are looking for construction opportunities. We’re hopeful we can have a constructive summit that will lead to an increase in house building.
“Not only would that help with our housing needs, it would also have a positive economic impact. We estimate that if building increased to the required levels it would create over a thousand new jobs in the borough.”
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