600 new homes to be rented across Sheffield over six years

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More than 600 new council homes are to be rented out across Sheffield over the next six years to meet demand for affordable properties.

The city’s housing stock is to be boosted through a combination of new building projects and the refurbishment of homes which are currently standing empty.

It is the maximum number the city council is able to create under current Government borrowing rules.

The council hopes the project will be supported by match-funding from the Government, and that it will partially offset some of the housing stock losses over recent years from the Right to Buy scheme.

Also planned is a replacement programme of kitchens, bathrooms, double glazing and door renewal in homes that have not had any previous work carried out over the last 10 years.

The programme will cover around 7,000 of the 12,790 properties which are expected to need attention over the next four years.

Further support will be available to tenants affected by recent welfare reforms such as the so-called bedroom tax. It will help tenants hit by the new rules and will benefit the council too through reduced arrears, evictions and court costs.

Another priority is to upgrade communal areas at all 12,000 of the council’s low rise flats and begin design work on the communal areas to 3,000 maisonettes.

The aim is to make flats a more attractive proposition to people wishing to move into smaller properties.

Coun Harry Harpham, the council’s cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “It’s great to be able to announce that we will be adding around 600 homes to the council’s housing stock.

“This will not only provide us with a wider range of properties to accommodate local people, but will also give a boost to the local economy.”