Calderdale Council has pledged to help make more homes available for local families.
In a motion at the full Council meeting last month, the Council committed to take action to address a number of local housing issues, which reflect the national picture.
The issues include the need to:
- Increase the number of new private homes and opportunities for self build.
- Work with current providers to increase the amount of social housing.
- Make it easier for first time buyers to get on the property ladder.
- Bring more empty homes back into use.
- Prioritise the building of sustainable homes on brownfield sites to minimise the impact on greenfield and green belt sites.
- Address the potential impacts of the UK leaving the European Union on the construction industry.
- Help young people develop the skills needed in the construction industry through training and apprenticeships.
Cllr Daniel Sutherland, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, said:
“There are concerns nationally that the UK is not achieving its house building targets. A lot of progress has been made in Calderdale; for example, 688 new affordable homes have been developed across the borough since 2008. However, we know that more needs to be done. We want to build on the good work so far and help more families into affordable, high quality homes.”
The Council has already announced plans to boost the number of affordable homes by freeing up unused land. The plans include Pennine Housing, part of the Together Housing Group, looking to build new houses in Bailiff Bridge and Shelf, and the Calder Valley Community Land Trust, in partnership with John Eastwood Homes, developing new affordable rent bungalows in Walsden for older people.
Other key developments which are already progressing include:
- A new housing scheme at New Street in Southowram, developed by St Vincent’s Housing Association, which aims to provide four homes for rent and four homes for shared ownership by this autumn. Shared ownership allows people to buy a share of their new home and pay a small rent on the remainder that they don’t own.
- Working with Together Housing to deliver a large estate regeneration programme for the Beech Hill area of Halifax.
- Working with Together Housing and Wates Living Space Homes to deliver around 500 new homes and an ‘extra care’ scheme in north Halifax to provide high quality housing to meet the care and support needs of older or disabled people.
To build on this, the Council will continue to work with housing providers to identify new opportunities and support them to bid for funding.
The Council continues to work alongside the Homes and Communities Agency; for example, by bidding to the national Starter Home Land Fund, which supports councils to prepare vacant and underused brownfield land to make new homes available for first time buyers.
As part of the Local Plan process, people have had the chance to discuss the potential for development in their area. The plan will outline the number of new homes required in the future and new opportunities for development.