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Council’s cabinet asked to approve authority’s re-entry to social housing market and council housing provision

At their meeting on Thursday 7th January, Sefton Cabinet members are being asked to agree the Council’s re-entry into the social housing market for the first time in nearly 15 years.

Agreement by Cabinet members would enable the Council to start making preparations for the acquisition of nine apartments, as the beginnings of its future stock of new council housing.  The Council would acquire the apartments on the Sefton Grange development at Buckley Hill Lane, from its wholly-owned housing development company Sandway Homes.

This will be the Council’s first new rented housing since its stock transfer in 2006. The move will require the Council to register with the Regulator of Social Housing as a social housing provider. It will also need to apply to become an ‘Investment Partner’ with Homes England, the public Government body that funds new, affordable housing in England.

The next steps will include the development of a business plan, identifying options for housing management services and putting together a delivery team.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “If Cabinet agrees these proposals on Thursday it will be a really decisive step for the Council not only in meeting the demands to house the most vulnerable in our society, but also in providing a choice and range of affordable housing types that meet the needs of our communities.

“While there is still much work to do, approving these plans would underline Sefton Council’s commitment to supporting the Borough’s residents by delivering a high-quality and inclusive housing agenda.”

Sandway Homes, the housing development company launched by the Council in January 2019, is already building 30 new homes at Hey Farm Gardens in Crossens and 47 more at Sandy Brook in Ainsdale. Due to be completed in 2021, these two schemes will add to the supply of housing in the north of the Borough. A further scheme on Buckley Hill Lane at Sefton Grange, which is currently at planning stage will enable the Council to provide the first phase of its new social housing offer.

Link to details of next week’s Cabinet meeting, including the agenda and papers.