Council social housing to be first for decades

Social housing will be built by Adur District Council for the first time in decades in a bid to ease an '˜acute' need for affordable housing.

Thursday, 10th November 2016, 8:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:53 pm
New Adur chairman for 2015/16 Carson Albury SUS-150526-121047001

Around 50 new homes, including 15 affordable apartments, will be built on council land in Albion Street, Shoreham, subject to planning permission.

Cabinet members’ support for the proposal comes amid a significant shortfall in housing across the district, with those on the housing register waiting an average of nearly three years for a one-bedroom property.

Deputy leader Angus Dunn said: “I think it is 25 to 30 years since Adur built new social housing and I think this is outstandingly brilliant news for Adur and our vulnerable residents. This is hopefully the start of things to come.”

The bill for bringing the site’s empty hostels and temporary accommodation up to standard would be upwards of £630,000 - but allowing a local developer to build new properties would limit the council’s outlay.

A report to cabinet members stated the proposal was the ‘quickest and most cost-effective way of delivering new affordable homes’.

It estimates the comparative cost of taxpayers funding 15 affordable units would be £3.4million.

Councillor Carson Albury, cabinet member for customer services, welcomed the proposal.

He outlined the importance of delivering one and two-bedroom homes – the most in-demand type of property.

He said: “The downsizing aspect is going to be excellent for Adur and families in Adur looking to go into bigger homes. In some of our accommodation we have one person living in a 3/4-bedroom house.

“It’s an ongoing process and it’s going to have a knock-on effect. This is just the beginning of what’s going to be happening in Adur now.”

Labour leader Les Alden congratulated the council on the proposed project but questioned the type of affordable housing which would be provided.

Mr Albury said it was intended the units would be offered at a mixture of affordable rent and social rent.

Government figures indicate Adur requires 233 affordable homes to be built per year to meet demand.

Yet only 172 new homes are expected to be delivered each year, including market rate properties. Council officers described the need for affordable homes as ‘acute’.