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Council's five year plan to improve housing

By Rob Smith | Telford | News | Published:

More affordable homes, less empty houses and putting roofs over the heads of the most vulnerable are the cornerstones of a borough council's proposed new five year housing strategy.

Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet will consider the strategy at its meeting next week, with councillors being recommended to agree to consult on it this summer.

The council set out the three pillars of the strategy and the individual policies that will contribute towards them.

To provide more affordable homes, the council would build on more brownfield sites, increase provision of accessible and supported homes, promote high quality standards and work to make new homes low-carbon, build more quality homes to rent through NuPlace [the council's lettings company], and invest in community-based housing and self-build.

To make the best of the borough's existing homes, it would reduce the number of empty and unused properties, support homeowners and landlords to promote good management and continue to tackle rogue landlords, create a new focus on housing renewal including a community-based approach to property care and maintenance, and tackle fuel poverty.

It would aim to support and empower the borough's most vulnerable by exploring ways to support young people to get onto the housing ladder, increasing the supply of specialist and accessible homes to help older and vulnerable residents live independently for longer, working with the voluntary sector to tackle the root causes of homelessness, maintaining funding to make sure there is a safe and warm bed for anyone who needs it all year round, and expanding provision to support veterans, care leavers and over 65s at home and in the community.

'A decent place to live is the foundation on which people build their lives'

Councillor David Wright, cabinet member for housing, said: “It has long been our priority to make sure that Telford and Wrekin is a great place in which to live. There is much that we have already achieved including delivering 1,200 new homes each year, tripling the number of new affordable homes each year, working with private landlords to improve standards in rented housing and substantially increasing the amount of supported housing.

“Despite all this and, in line with other parts of the country, the borough still lacks sufficient suitable homes, some of which are unaffordable and others unsuitable. We also need to consider how we make new and existing homes lower carbon as part of our commitment to tackle climate change.

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“With this strategy, we want to take the quantity and quality of housing to the next level. It’s a vital part of our vision to protect, care and invest to create a better borough.

“Our aim is for every resident to be able to access a safe and affordable home by building more new ones, improving those we already have and raising standards in the rented sector.

"A decent place to live is the foundation on which people build their lives. It also brings wider benefits to the borough as a whole; strengthening the local economy and creating opportunities.”

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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