Savings from housing budget could lead to 500 extra council houses in Sheffield
Around 500 council properties could be built and acquired in Sheffield if savings are found in housing budgets.
Council bosses have earmarked an ambitious plan to build hundreds of local authority run homes across the city.
The plans are in response to the Government's 'Right to Buy' scheme which has seen around 350 council properties each year being bought off.
In a report presented to Sheffield Council cabinet members next week, the scheme will run alongside an earlier commitment to build 1,000 new properties by 2018/2019.
But the number of additional homes will be 'dependent on the level of savings' from the Housing Revenue Account on 'borrowing capacity' and any 'additional funding such as grant and use of receipts'. Housing bosses predict this could lead to a further 500 units by 2023/2024.
As part of the programme, the council aim to continue to 'build homes where there is appropriate land availability and where sites are within our highest demand strategic housing market areas'.
There are just under 40,000 council homes across Sheffield. The new homes will either be new build or bought properties.
Coun Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “I am doing everything in my power to increase the number of council houses. It’s a massive challenge as we lose around 350 properties each year through Right to Buy sales and face increasing need for social housing.
“We’ve managed our finances prudently, to allow us to deliver much needed new homes at the same time as investing in existing properties. And I want to reassure people we are doing absolutely everything we can to increase and invest in social housing in Sheffield.”
The authority is hoping to keep pressure on the Government to free up more money for council's to spend on housing.
Coun Dunn added: “The Government has still not made up its mind about policies which add to the decimation of council housing. We will continue to lobby them and are managing our council housing account carefully, so we’re geared up to respond to future changes – whilst remaining focussed on the key aim of more council housing in Sheffield.”