Council aims to build more social housing in Sheffield

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Sheffield Council is building more social housing in the city.

The authority has set a target of providing 1,000 new council homes by 2021, but this week revealed that intends to build more of that figure than originally thought - rather than buy existing properties.

Up to 1,000 new council houses should be provided by 2021.

Up to 1,000 new council houses should be provided by 2021.

Once the programme is complete, and subject to securing national funding, the council expects to have built about 450 houses.

These will include independent living schemes for older people and the council also hopes to provide extra supported housing for people with learning disabilities.

The news comes a week after the Government chose Sheffield as one of 30 cities to get cash to build 1,000 discounted starter homes for first-time buyers aged between 23 and 40 .

Cabinet member for housing Jayne Dunn said: "Increasing social housing is still a priority as the need for good affordable housing has never been greater.

“We acquire more council homes by either buying existing properties or building them ourselves.

"Building them gives us more control though and helps us get the properties we need.

"That’s why we’re maintaining our plans to provide an extra 1,000 council homes in Sheffield but we will be building more of them ourselves. This includes supported housing to help people live independently, as well as more family homes.”

There are about 40,000 council homes in Sheffield - but this figure is going down as properties are sold under the Right to Buy scheme.

Sheffield Council is about a third of its way towards its target of providing 1,000 extra council homes. Since 2015 it has bought an extra 285 properties and has almost finished building 89 new homes.

Cabinet members will discuss the authority's housing business plan on Wednesday, January 18.

The plan also sets out an intention to reduce the community charge for tenants who receive metered heating by 10 per cent; set a single flat rate for garage rent instead of the current system of different prices across the city; and prepare for new national housing policies.

Coun Dunn said: “We’ve lobbied the Government to reject policies that would be bad for tenants, such as 'Pay to Stay', which has now been dropped.

"We will continue to do this to get the best we can for people who need social housing and will push for more money for the city to increase its council housing stock in the future.”

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