£19.9m House Building Programme Set to Deliver up to 100 New Homes

UP TO 100 new council homes are set to be built in Reading under new plans being considered next week.

Almost £20m has been identified for the potential development of affordable homes as part of the Council’s house building programme.

The money is made up of £5.4m Right to Buy receipts from sales of Council homes, £1.9m s106 developer contributions and up to £12.6m borrowing. The rental income expected from the properties means the programme would be cost neutral and would not be an additional financial burden on the Council.

Feasibility work is currently being undertaken to assess potential sites for development but a majority are on existing housing land. Some sites are expected to move towards pre-application planning discussions in the next six to nine months.

Members of the Council’s Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure (HNL) Committee, at a meeting on 5th July, will be asked to recommend that the plans progress to Policy Committee for spend approval later in the month.

The Committee will also hear how the Council’s current £26.6m new build programme is moving forward. Sixty-three new units have already been completed in the last three years and another 85 will be finished over the next two years.

The current programme has seen the completion of 40 extra care units at Cedar Court and 11 accessible flats in neighbouring Supported Living Scheme at Phoebe Cusden House, Whitley Rise. There were a further five two-bed houses and seven two-bed flats acquired for renting.

A scheme to provide 28 two-bed temporary family units at Lowfield Road, Caversham, has started with an expected completion date of autumn 2017 and the construction of 57 homes in Conwy Close, Tilehurst, is due to get under way in late summer.

Councillor John Ennis, Lead Member for Housing, said: “I am delighted that we are able to put forward a £19.9m programme of house building which will provide a potential 100 homes for families in need.

“We should be proud of the quality accommodation provided at Cedar Court and Phoebe Cusden House for elderly and vulnerable people and I am looking forward to the temporary units at Lowfield Road coming into use and construction starting at Conwy Close in the coming months.

“Homelessness continues to be a real problem in Reading and we are determined to do all we can to ensure people get the quality, safe and affordable accommodation they deserve.”

The full report on Use of s106 and Right to Buy Receipts to Increase the Provision of New Affordable Homes can be found at: http://www.reading.gov.uk/article/10564/Housing-Neighbourhoods-and-Leisure-Committee-5-JULY-2017

David Millward

For media enquiries about this release call 0118 937 4289