FENLAND: Council approached to buy private sector homes for social housing
EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY CASH-poor developers who poured millions into new estates in Fenland are now lining up to sell them to the public sector for social housing. Within the past month at least four developers have approached Fenland District Counci
By JOHN ELWORTHY
CASH-poor developers who poured millions into new estates in Fenland are now lining up to sell them to the public sector for social housing.
Within the past month at least four developers have approached Fenland District Council offering homes that were originally built for the private sector.
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Officials at Fenland Hall are now studying the developments and will be working with local housing associations such as Circle Anglia - parent group of Roddons Housing Association - to see if deals can be struck.
"Local housing association partners will investigate if they are a viable proposition to the Housing Corporation," Cabinet member Kit Owen will tell colleagues next week.
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In a report to next Thursday's full council meeting Cllr Owen, portfolio holder for housing, will explain how the Housing Corporation - which helps fund social housing - has ring-fenced £200million to help with such schemes.
The money is available for registered social landlords to submit bids to procure new-build homes that are unable to be sold in the private sector because of the credit crunch.
"We are looking at how we can maximise the potential of this in Fenland," he says in a briefing note.
It's not the only good news for Fenland on the housing front, for the council is optimistic of securing a £1million sum from the Government Solid Wall Insulation scheme to help private-sector households in the north ward of Wisbech.
The money, if it becomes available, will provide help for possibly many hundreds of people in houses that lack proper insulation.
"Vulnerable occupants will receive a grant or loan for works to increase thermal warmth and take residents out of fuel property," says Cllr Owen.