Councillor vows to use new role to solve Shropshire's housing needs
A Shropshire councillor has vowed to do all he can to solve the county's housing needs after being named chairman of a housing association.
Councillor Simon Harris, who is already portfolio holder for transport at Shropshire Council, has been voted in as chairman of STAR Housing – an arms-length housing firm which manages homes owned by the authority.
Councillor Harris said he will “travel the length and breadth of the county” to see what improvements can be made to the service and what more can be done to help people.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed chairman of Star Housing. I believe I am the first serving county councillor to be put in charge of a housing group and I am very proud the committee voted me in.
“The hard work starts now though. I know how vital the right kind of homes in the right places is and I will travel the length and breadth of the county now to find out what we can do better and to improve services for members of the public.
“I am quite enthralled to be in this position and I cannot wait to start working hard to better provide services for people.”
STAR currently manages the council’s homes in Oswestry and Bridgnorth and carries out maintenance, rent collection, offers debt and budget advice and deals with rental agreements.
Shropshire Council owns the homes and STAR Housing, but it runs itself, with a chairman and board in place.
While STAR Housing will remain an arms-length management firm for the council, it has also recently launched it own house building firm, Cornovii Development Ltd.
Cornovii aims to build up to 2,000 homes on almost 50 sites across the county.
The first sites earmarked for development are the former Ifton Heath Primary School site near Oswestry, with 35 homes earmarked and a development off Frith Road in Shrewsbury.
Councillor Harris added: “It is an important time to get housing needs met and the right homes in the right place and I will do anything I can to help.”