The Lib Dems have agreed plans to deliver the first new general needs Council houses for a generation in Bath and North East Somerset.
Cabinet members unanimously approved the first phase of 58 homes to be built in the next 1-2 years, with an ambitious programme of ‘hundreds’ of homes to follow.
Delivering new Council houses meets a key manifesto commitment from 2019 and builds on the programme of around 50 supported and shared-ownership housing the Lib Dem administration is already delivering.
In addition, nearly 2,000 affordable homes have been delivered through agreements with commercial developers and housing associations over the last ten years.
Councillor Tom Davies, Cabinet member for Council house building, said:
“Bath and North East Somerset is one of the least affordable areas in the country for housing. Thousands of local residents are on the social housing waiting list, hundreds of them in the categories of highest need.
“That’s why we made a commitment to the residents of Bath and North East Somerset that a Lib Dem administration would provide the first general needs Council homes in our area for a generation.
“I am proud that we are now delivering on this commitment and we have approved the first phase of our new Council house programme.
“We have approved the first 58 general needs homes across eight sites, but over the coming months we will be developing plans for the delivery of hundreds of additional Council houses in our area over the coming years.
“Under the Liberal Democrats, this Council will become a leading provider of social housing in our area. And it will be high quality, sustainable housing, of which we can be proud.
“No-one should be under any illusion about the scale of this Lib Dem administration’s ambition for the Council to provide vital housing in Bath and North East Somerset.”
Councillor Richard Samuel, Deputy Leader, Economic Development and Resources, added:
“Since the 1980s the legislative and financial environment has deliberately made it extremely difficult for Councils to develop new Council housing.
“Against this background the Liberal Democrats set out to chart a different course and begin to provide new Council housing again for the first time in a generation.
“This has been an exceptionally difficult path to navigate. Hardly any Councils which previously transferred their housing stock have returned to direct provision. We’re breaking new ground, with B&NES starting to provide new homes directly for the most needy in society.
“We will make provision for the expanding programme in future budgets, to ensure that once again this Council becomes the proud provider of social homes for local residents at rents they can afford and with the security that they deserve.”