Leeds announce major council housebuilding programme

Leeds City Council is to build 358 new social homes across several sites in the city over the next three years.

Last month the prime minister announced that the cap on Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing would be lifted which the council says presents a ‘significant opportunity’ to build a new generation of council homes at a scale and pace which ‘wouldn’t have been previously possible.’

A spokesperson told NewStart that if fully approved they expect a capital investment of around £55m which would include money from Right to Buy receipts and Affordable Homes grant funding through Homes England.

The council has submitted bids for 7 potential housing schemes, including an estimated 115 homes in Temple Newsam and 58 in Gipton & Harehills.

Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said: ‘The council has worked hard to ensure we are in a position to move ahead and build new council houses across the city at such a quick pace.

‘We are committed to providing new homes through the housing growth programme and the lending cap being lifted by the government means that we can do more to deliver new high-quality affordable homes much faster.

‘We do, however, appreciate that there is still more work to be done and we are continually seeking national support and funding to continue to increase the number of new affordable homes and to support sustainable and inclusive growth across the city.’

In 2017, 388 new council homes were built across 10 development sites through the housing PFI scheme at Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck.

The council hope construction will be completed by December 2021.

In a speech at the County Council’s Network annual conference yesterday, housing secretary James Brokenshire pledged that councils will be on the ‘front-line of house building’ following a government decision to lift borrowing caps.

‘Councils will once again be on the front-line of house building and it’s been great to see how warmly this has been welcomed by councils up and down the country,’ he said.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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