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Plan for Homes: new homes, loans and more land up for grabs

1,000 new homes a year for Plymouth, affordable housing loans and the sale of more Council owned land are all being unveiled as part of the ambitious Plan for Homes that will put a roof over the head of more city residents.

Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet will consider the draft plan of initiatives at its meeting on Tuesday 12 November. Its aim is to give support to first time buyers and help people rent or buy affordable, high quality and fuel efficient homes.

The Plan for Homes has 16 initiatives to encourage developers such as waiving planning pre-application fees, work to attract new investors and the release of 100 acres of Council land (the equivalent to 56 football pitches) that can be developed for housing.

The Plan also includes developing an Affordable Housing Loan Facility of up to £50 million. As a local authority, Plymouth City Council is able to borrow at a low rate of interest. Subject to certain conditions, loans would then be made available to the Plymouth Housing Development Partnership at lower rates than usually available to them. Housing co-operatives would also be supported where a group of people have control over their own housing as an alternative to traditional home renting or buying.

Cabinet member for Finance whose portfolio includes housing delivery, Councillor Mark Lowry said: “There is a housing crisis and we need to speed up housing developments so we get more housing built more quickly. One of the most direct ways we will be doing this is by releasing more Council land for development. We need a mixture of housing in the city, affordable homes, family homes, executive properties, student accommodation and extra care housing for older people. Our city is growing which is good news but it does mean we must consider radical measures to ensure there are enough homes for people in the future while also preserving the character of the city and its green spaces.

“With the lowest price affordable homes still six times higher than the average salary and 10,000 people on the housing waiting list we have to act quickly and spur our partners into action. It is also vitally important that the homes being built are fuel efficient, fuel poverty is a very real problem for people as gas and electricity bills keep going up and up.”

4 November 2013