Housing project aims to target people in need
COUNCIL chiefs are looking at building a new generation of council houses for people who cannot afford rents charged by social landlords.
Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones has launched a project for those in ‘ absolute need’ such as the homeless, as well as key workers.
Crucially, the homes would also have no rightto-buy option, which is at odds with government policy.
Coun Jones said while he believed in right-tobuy, the people he was targeting were people in absolute need who cannot afford a mortgage.
He said: “It has become clear to us that we need absolute cheap accommodation.
“The private sector and the RSLs (registered social landlords) are doing their bit in certain areas but there is a gap. We want to fill that gap.
“What we’re looking at is the potential of having our own, private possibly, council-led definitely, affordable housing company for rented accommodation with proven need.
“So I’ve asked two councillors, Glen Williams and Sam Corcoran, to look at this. We’ve got experts advising them with a plan how we do it.”
The council leader said funding was available for the scheme, adding: “We don’t want it to be rightto-buy because we want it to be there as a safety net
rented for those need.
“That’s what we’re looking at. It’s about resolving our homelessness – we haven’t got much – and possibly some key worker staff too.”
If the council does go ahead with the scheme it will be the first time any housing stock has been under its control since it was formed in 2009.
It is believed the stock could be managed by an alternative service delivery vehicle (ASDVs) – a council controlled company similar to Ansa, which runs waste and streetscene services.
It is hoped the cost of the scheme can be sourced from housing developers by replacing their current obligation to build affordable homes.
Coun Corcoran said: “It’s at a very early stage but I’m delighted Michael Jones is looking at this and I hope to be involved.”
People have been able to buy their council houses since 1980, and earlier this year the government announced social housing tenants would get the right to buy their properties.
‘We want there to be a safety net for those in absolute need’
●● Olympic silver medallist Roger Black MBE (left) with Cheshire East’s lung cancer project team at the awards ceremony