In 2018 we will see the beginning of our major council house building programme in Rotherham. Last month, I was delighted to help launch this major programme to build 217 new homes on sites across the borough.
This will be delivered across seven areas, including Dinnington and Maltby, through an innovative partnership between the Council and Wates Construction. Importantly, nearly half of these will be council houses, available to people in need of good quality, affordable, well managed council rented homes.
In addition, the programme is also catering for first time buyers and older people wishing to downsize – through 24 shared ownership properties. A further 12 homes will be designated as ‘rent to buy’ meaning people can initially rent the home on a reduced rate but have the option to buy it after five years. There will also be 83 homes available for sale on the open market as well.
Rotherham is one of the largest providers of council housing in the country. We are rightly proud of this, as the Council has a strong track record of investing in its stock and providing excellent housing management services.
It is no surprise, therefore, that council housing is in high demand – over 6,500 households are registered, waiting for a council home. However, the need to build more council housing is exacerbated by the popularity of ‘Right to Buy’. Last year, 152 council homes in Rotherham were sold under this scheme.
On top of all this, there are other developments that are about to be launched including 99 new council owned homes in Broom, Treeton, Rawmarsh and Swallownest – for council rent and for low cost home ownership. The Council also continues to purchase new homes from private developers to add to its council stock – over 100 acquisitions to date and several more planned for the next five years.
All of these plans show that it is an exciting time in the borough and that we are firmly on the road to delivering major housing growth in Rotherham. Under this Labour Council, we have bold ambitions to build more affordable rented homes in Rotherham and we are delivering on these plans in spade loads.
Whilst the Tory government are unable to respond to the country’s housing crisis, this Labour Council is building more council homes and investing in major building programmes here in Rotherham.
Cllr Dominic Beck
Cabinet Member for Housing at Rotherham Council