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Housing Trust to Build New Homes in Tadcaster


11:38am 12th February 2013

Selby District Council's Executive has agreed to support the creation of an independent Housing Trust to deliver brand new affordable homes in the area.

The Housing Trust will build new homes for affordable rent at sites across the district, mainly on land transferred to the Trust from the Council. The aims are to deliver much-needed new affordable housing for families and individuals, to support the local construction industry, and to increase opportunities for jobs and wealth creation.

The Executive has recently agreed to seek planning permission for a small development of new affordable homes on land in Tadcaster, with the intention that these will be built by the new Trust.

Delivering new affordable homes is one of the primary objectives of the Council's £5million Programme for Growth investment, which focuses on dealing with the big issues affecting the area, such as housing, employment and the local economy.

As a separate organisation, the Trust will have greater freedom to build new, affordable housing, compared to the Council through its traditional housing service. There are limitations on how the current Housing revenue can be used to support the building of new properties. Any new affordable homes built through the Council's existing arrangements would also be subject to Right to Buy arrangements, whereas Housing Trust properties will be secured for affordable rent in the long-term.

Executive member, Cllr John Mackman, explained what the Council was trying to do in setting up the new independent organisation, "This is a pragmatic approach to delivering more affordable homes on the ground at a time when the supply of these vital properties through private developments has been few and far between, over recent years, because of the economic downturn.

"The Trust will be able to build and maintain brand new affordable homes at sites right across the district. We'll start on a small scale, but the model enables us to expand in the future if that's what we can and need to do.

"Importantly, the Trust will be self financing. New developments will be paid for through rental income or government grants. By agreeing to set up the Housing Trust as a charitable trust and a registered provider we're enabling this new investment to happen."

The new Trust will operate separately from the Council, with a majority of independent directors supported by a minority of councillor directors on the Trust's Board. It will also be independent of the authority's existing Council-owned homes; no existing tenancies will be affected by the creation of the Trust.

The Council's Programme for Growth investment will support the creation of the new Trust with £30,000 to help set up the venture.

The proposals will be presented for final approval at a meeting of the full council on 26 February.

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