Council Pledge for Social Housing

AN ACTION plan to kick start house building in Thurrock to create jobs and provide affordable homes was agreed by leading councillors at Thurrock Council’s Cabinet meeting.

Cabinet heard that over 2,000 people were on the council’s waiting list, but house building had virtually ground to a halt because of the economic climate. Only ten affordable homes were built in the last year.

The plan, called Project Enterprise, aims to build affordable rent and low cost home ownership properties over several years on smaller council-owned sites.

Construction could start as early as next year and phase one of the project would see homes built on six sites across the borough.

Supporting the financing of the project, it was announced that Thurrock Council is bidding to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) for funding to start building the new council homes.

This would be the first time in over 25 years that Thurrock has considered building its own homes. A percentage will be disability accessible and Thurrock Council would retain full nomination rights over the affordable homes so residents on the local housing waiting list would benefit first.

Residents living around the selected sites will be fully informed and consulted on the proposals.

Speaking after the meeting, Leader of the Council, Garry Hague said: “Regeneration must be to the benefit of local people.

“By developing these sites we not only help those on the waiting list to get into a decent property, we also provide much needed employment for those in the construction industry, which has been hit so hard by the recession.

“Some of these sites are unfortunately susceptible to vandalism and anti-social behaviour issues, and so building homes on them will also remove this nuisance and improve the quality of life for existing residents.

“This is a well-rounded and ambitious long-term project which will help provide much-needed homes for low-cost home ownership and low-cost homes to rent.”

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