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NEW Homes Business Plan

Published: 17/05/2018

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to give its approval for the North East Wales Homes (NEW Homes) Business Plan 2018/2027 and the proposed process for approval of new lending to NEW Homes for the development or purchase of affordable homes at its meeting on Tuesday, 22 May. NEW Homes is a housing company owned by Flintshire County Council, established in April 2014 to increase the quantity, quality and choice of affordable housing available in the county for those who may not qualify for social housing, but for whom access to the housing market is unaffordable or difficult to access. In addition NEW Homes provides a professional service to landlords as a managing agent as a means of increasing the availability of quality affordable housing The Business Plan sets out key elements of the company’s proposed growth plan to increase the number of properties managed and owned as affordable housing over the next ten years, this includes homes to be developed via the council’s Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP), Section 106 properties, under which housing developers meet their affordable housing obligations and potential properties acquired through borrowing against existing assets. The Walks, a new build scheme developed under SHARP includes 62 affordable houses and apartments all of which will have been handed over to NEW Homes by the end of May 2018. Proposals are also being developed for a further 39 properties to be provided by the SHARP. NEW Homes currently has 37 homes delivered under Section 106 Agreements, with a further 28 homes expected over the next 5 years. Although the number of managed lettings has been relatively slow to grow, NEW Homes has successfully retained the majority of landlords once they have signed up. Cllr. Aaron Shotton, Leader of Flintshire County Council said; “NEW Homes is actively increasing housing choice for those who may not qualify for social housing but for whom the housing market is unaffordable or difficult to access. I am delighted that the council’s innovative SHARP has made available so many affordable homes since it began in 2015. “The revised business plan has been supported by independent expertise and in March 2018 was approved by NEW Homes as an achievable and sustainable plan for growth over the next ten years.” Cllr. Bernie Attridge, Cabinet Member for Housing said; “A very positive working relationship has developed between the Council, NEW Homes and construction partners. This has made available properties at affordable rents, helping local people to remain within their own local communities through Section 106 Agreements. “It is also really important to note that managed lettings increase the range of options of affordable housing provision. NEW Homes and the Council are jointly developing options around how this managed lettings can work more effectively and grow.”

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