Monday, February 26, 2024

Val outlines plans for 200 council homes a year

THE ways in which Thurrock Council will create 200 new council homes a year were outlined on Wednesday (12 December) evening.

Cllr Val Morris-Cook, portfolio holder for housing, told the meeting of the cabinet that “the development of an affordable housing strategy will deliver the key housing objectives for a house-building programme and estate regeneration from 2013 and the following five years”.

Speaking afterward, she said: “We can’t just conjure up new homes, we have to look carefully at available land and available funding; we have to look at where other land can be found and where new funding could come from.

“So it’s got to be a phased approach and here we’re looking at Seabrooke Rise in Grays and Bracelet Close in Corringham as well as the Calcutta Road car park in Tilbury in the first phase. Land that is available and funds that are available.

“We’ll be looking at finding sites with the most immediate development potential, analysing their capacity and viability – and making sure local people are kept fully in the loop throughout the process. This is already happening in Grays, Corringham and Tilbury.

“We have to look closely at the finance options open to us, including prudential borrowing and where the council can maximise its Housing Revenue Account resources, work with partners or use new vehicles to provide leverage.

“And we will have to consider who will be our delivery partners, who will work with us to create the new developments.”

Cllr Morris-Cook said: “This really is great in so many ways – great for the council in that we’re helping people in need, we’re actually building houses; great for the people who need new homes who will be able to bid for top-quality, environmentally-friendly and well-designed homes; and great for the whole area which will be really improved and enhanced by the new build.

“And alongside all of this – and at the same time – we are looking at our present housing stock and ways we can regenerate our estates and homes, bringing them all up to the Thurrock Decent Homes standard, a standard which leaves the national one in the shade.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. 200 homes per year? and just where are they going to be built? Thurrock will soon become one huge housing estate as every bit of green land is built upon, I appreciate that people need homes but we also need to look after our natural habitats.

  2. I always shudder with fear when a Lobour politician mentions the word borrow> Why do we need to borrow money to fiannce new homes,why not use the money collected from rents to finance our own building plans as I thought there was Millions in the HRA account? Then keep ploughing it back year on tear as basic maths saya build houses collect more rent, build more houses???

  3. Time to create a Thurrock Social Housing Business element part of Thurrock Council Housing Dept. Surplus(s) instead of profit with a Community objective to house all in Thurrock. Let us be blunt most Housing Assn(s) are run by ex Council Workers – throwing away this pool of talent is a travesty via low wages / poor career prospects and lack of Govt / Local Govt vision. Why should private companies make profits when Thurrock Council is more than capable of running a building and rental Social Business with surplus going back to the Community and Tax payer. Stop talking about the Big Society and Social Community Enterprises create and start them Now!

  4. Thurrock Council reserves on the HRA account in the last financial year reduced by £1.9 million. They now have just over £1 million in reserves. So another year like the last one and the reserves are gone. This is a council that chose to be self financing as of this year. One can only hope that they’ve done a better job this year than last. Perhaps that will throw some light on why there are 3,000 repairs jobs outstanding and properties standing empty for months on end. The talented staff of Thurrock Council can’t manage the finances and hence the wishes to create 200 properties a year is a mere pipe dream. It’s doubtful they’ll even be able to access the grant funding available because most grants require funds to be matched by the council and they haven’t got any. Another success chalked u[p to the Labour run administration. Bit like the last Labour governent. Can’t manage the finances. They spend money on pet projects like making sure mongolian trans gender drag queens are represented in the community but htings like the housing service can go down the toilet. Well done Labour.

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