Council to provide a 'home for life' as it begins £13m rental housing plan

A council has started a £13 million programme of buying up homes in an effort to provide 100 new rented houses.

The group of houses will be the first of 100 in a £13m project
The group of houses will be the first of 100 in a £13m project

Telford & Wrekin Council has confirmed it is in negotiations over the purchase of the first group of houses – 12 from Wrekin Housing Group (WHG), which will be refurbished and put on the rental market.

A total of £13m has been set aside specifically for the project, to be used to provide 100 extra homes with what the council describes as "high quality private rental standards".

The scheme, which goes under the banner of Telford & Wrekin Homes, is intended to complement the council's Nuplace programme, which focuses on building new homes for the borough.

The council said it wanted to "raise standards in the private rented sector" and provide a “home for life” for tenants.

The council has also not ruled out buying properties in any area of the town, saying they will include those in Coalbrookdale, Dawley, Donnington, Hadley, Ketley, Trench, Wellington and Wrockwardine Wood.

The authority said it is in talks with WHG over 12 two, three and four bed properties at locations throughout the town.

They will then have refurbishment work carried out that will include the installation of new kitchens, bathrooms, redecoration and landscaping.

It said that the work should be "in keeping with Nuplace’s high property standards," and that they "should not feel like the poor relation to our new build offer".

Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council said: “It is our priority to ensure every resident in Telford and Wrekin is able to access a decent home and this is a vital part of our vision to protect, care and invest to create a better borough.

“Telford & Wrekin Homes is all about making the best of the borough’s existing homes by reducing the number of empty and unused properties and improving those we already have to raise standards in the rented sector."

Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for housing, added: “This is an ambitious initiative and will be life-changing for many of our residents, ensuring there are good quality homes for their families and themselves.

“While new housing is important, 80 per cent of the homes that we will have in 20 years’ time are here now. So we need to make sure the homes we already have are as good as the best of the new ones that are being built today.

“Telford & Wrekin Homes will make this happen through the purchase and refurbishment of existing properties from a range of sources.

“The council’s wholly owned housing company Nuplace already has an excellent reputation across the borough in raising standards in the private rented sector with over 1,000 people currently living in Nuplace homes."

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