Council committed to meeting housing priorities

Following the agreement of the budget last week, Leeds City Council is reaffirming its commitment to improving housing across the city.

Measures agreed in the budget will see an extra £5.258 million invested in council housing to build on the success of the decency standard programme. This 10% increase takes the total for investment in council homes to £58.363 million for 2013/14.

A total of £9.5 million from the housing revenue account is being spent on new council homes over the next three years.

The council is continuing to work with partners to provide affordable housing. For example, Chevin Housing Association Ltd, a member of the Together Housing Group working in partnership with Leeds City Council, started construction of 13 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom houses in the St Hildas area of Cross Green last year. The scheme will be completed in Autumn 2013.

Taking a proactive approach to helping people maintain their tenancy is also paying dividends with more people than ever being given advice and support to stay in their existing home.

The council will also continue to work with all housing providers – private landlords, housing associations and the voluntary sector – to ensure that people have access to quality, affordable housing.

With the private rented sector playing an increasingly important role for people who want to get a foot a property ladder, the council is establishing teams to work with landlords to improve the quality of these homes.

Leeds is also continuing with its drive to turn round empty homes to provide more housing in the city. Funding is being used to allow more owners to help themselves leaving the council free to concentrate its resources on properties where the owner is not willing to bring it back into occupation without intervention.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“We don’t just need new homes in the city, we need good, quality homes of all tenures that are affordable to meet the various needs of our residents.

“Spending £9.5 million from the housing revenue account to build new council homes means that as well as providing housing, the council is taking a lead role in developing growth and jobs.

“While we continue to plough investment into our own housing stock and start the first major investment in new council homes in the city for many years, we will continue to work with a range of organisations and lead projects that will see the quality of privately rented homes improve and empty properties becoming family homes once more.

“Houses are so much more than bricks and mortar. With our ongoing commitment to increasing opportunities for people to access quality housing we can support the regeneration of neighbourhoods and help drive growth while benefitting communities as a whole.”

For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk