COUNCIL chiefs are looking to further increase the number of affordable homes in Stratford district.
A newly-established Housing Investment Panel (HIP) will be charged with finding ways to build on the record 740 affordable homes delivered in the district over the past two years.
They are increasingly needed to help those who cannot afford the market property prices in the district – which are among the highest in the midlands – and to provide more suitable homes and additional accommodation for homeless households.
The HIP has a remit to find solutions to providing affordable homes which would otherwise not be built through traditional developer only contributions.
Councillors will also look to work with housing associations, and town and parish councils in a bid to come up with additional affordable schemes.
To pay for more affordable housing the HIP will get cash from developer contributions from existing and future housing developments in the district, a government grant secured by the council to assist with funding, and £340,000 remaining from the £1.4million already allocated for the purchase of temporary accommodation by the council.
District housing spokesman Coun Daren Pemberton said: “The council has been working on proposals to deliver more affordable housing across the district.
“We’ve explored some options, however recent changes in local government finance regulations have meant that some models are no longer financially viable. We are committed to increasing the supply of affordable homes and the establishment of the HIP demonstrates our commitment.
“We will be directing resources to the creation of new homes by assisting parish and town councils across the district in create them within their communities.
“In addition these small-scale community-lead schemes, that meet local community needs, will provide opportunities for small scale building companies to deliver homes which at present are not provided by the national builders .
“It is our expectation that this will increase the speed of delivery by focusing on local affordable home schemes that more accurately reflect local housing need as well as looking at temporary accommodation options for the homeless across the district rather than relying upon b&bs.”