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Council plans £4.9m of Right to Buy support for new affordable housing

Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2022

2 minute read

Key in door

PLANS to use almost £5million of Right to Buy cash to help address the need for more affordable homes have been announced by Leicester City Council.

The city council intends to provide £4.9million of funding to emh Group towards the construction of 55 new affordable rent homes in the Waterside area.

Emh Group – one of the largest providers of affordable homes in the East Midlands – has confirmed that the council will be able to nominate people from its housing waiting list for the new homes. The new homes – which will be a mix of one and two-bedroom flats – will be part of the council’s response to the need for affordable housing supported living schemes that support adults who are in receipt of social care.

The 55 flats would be part of a larger proposed 75-unit supported housing scheme that emh Group plans to develop.

The council’s proposed contribution will be from receipts from the sale of council properties under the Government’s Right to Buy scheme.

Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, assistant city mayor four housing said: “By providing Right to Buy funding to emh Group in this way, we can help ensure that dozens of new homes – including much-needed wheelchair accessible properties – are available at affordable rent to some of the most vulnerable people in the city.

“There is no doubt that the Right to Buy scheme has hit the supply of council housing hard. We’re losing homes much faster that they are being built and it’s time the Right to Buy scheme was abandoned. In the meantime, it is essential that we invest whatever proceeds back into addressing our local and critical need for more affordable homes.”

Whenever a council property is sold under Right to Buy, the proceeds of the sale must be used in line with strict Government guidelines. This means that only some of the proceeds can be used to support the costs of building new affordable homes for rent. It also means that this money can only be used to cover up to 40 per cent of construction costs.

Emh Group’s proposed scheme will be part of the delivery of over 360 new homes currently under construction by Keepmoat, the city council’s development partner for the first phase of the Waterside regeneration project.

Chris Jones, Executive Director – Development at emh said “We are proud to partner with Leicester City Council and look forward to making a key contribution towards the regeneration of Waterside.

“We are committed to building high quality, affordable homes that meet the needs of local people as well as provide a boost to local the area.”

A formal decision on the proposed use of £4.9million of Right to Buy receipts to help address the need for more affordable housing is due to be taken on Thursday 6 October 2022.