Sheffield Council pledge on new homes

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Sheffield Council has pledged to build 1,000 homes by 2020 in an effort to tackle Sheffield’s housing crisis.

Government figures show Sheffield Council has sold 672 council houses since 2009 – something the authority claims it has been forced to do under right-to-buy legislation.

The sell-off is despite the fact at least 8,000 people are actively waiting for and bidding on council houses every year in Sheffield.

Housing leaders in Sheffield say the scheme has contributed to a housing crisis and are calling on the government to tackle the issue.

Toney Stacey, South Yorkshire Housing Association chief executive, said: “The Government has pursued policies which have undermined social housing in this country.

Coun Harry Harpham, council cabinet member for housing, has slammed the government and says the council has been pushing to improve the situation in the city where it can.

He said: “I cannot defend the right-to-buy scheme as it currently exists.

“We have pledged to increase the council housing stock by 1,000 over the next few years.

“There has been an increase in housebuilding. It’s by no means anywhere near the number that we need. We need more council houses and more affordable housing to rent and to buy.”

He said the council was regulated on how much it could spend on building or buying housing.

Coun Harpham said: “We are building as many as we can. We are increasing the council housing stock by as many as we can under the current building regulations and working hard with developers trying to see what the blockages are for them to get them building.

“We set up Sheffield Housing Company which will build housing in Parson Cross, Manor and Norfolk Park and we are doing everything we can to encourage private developers to come to Sheffield to build houses.”

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