Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Cabinet Members Recommend £7M Housing Investment To Meeting Of Council

Leading councillors in South Cambridgeshire have backed plans to invest up to £7 million to help meet the demand for good quality rental properties in the area and generate an annual income.

At a meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet today (Tuesday 19 November), councillors voted unanimously to recommend the investment, which they said could protect the council from future cuts in government funding and support other services.

The proposals, which would see the housing company off the ground with a pilot scheme and property portfolio of up to 40 homes in the next two years, will now be discussed at a meeting of Council on Thursday 28 November.

A specialist arms-length housing company – South Cambs Limited – was registered last year to allow housing bosses to buy, build and sell properties at market prices so profits can contribute to the running of Council services.

Establishing the separate trading company will allow the Council to work within regulations which prevent local authorities from selling services to the private sector.

South Cambs Limited will operate in conjunction with the biggest building programme of new council houses since the 1950s, the first homes of which will be completed before Christmas.

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This investment could help protect the Council from future cuts in government funding by generating an annual income we would pump straight back into providing the services residents rely on. If councillors at the meeting of Council agree for the project to go ahead, a detailed business case for the purchases will be carried out before purchases are made.”

The pilot project will be used to help inform future investment decisions.