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Funding boosts for SKDC homes

An ‘ambitous’ housing programme is planned for South Kesteven.

Cabinet member for housing Nick Neilson (Con) says South Kesteven District Council has worked very hard on its plans, which will create an income from land it intends to buy for homes.

SKDC Logo_Stack_CMYK (6602395)
SKDC Logo_Stack_CMYK (6602395)

From 2019/20 for three years, the council intends to spend £5 million a year on buying land. In addition, a similar sum will also be spent building them.

However, no numbers were given as to how many would be built but council leader Matthew Lee (Con) said they would be a mix of council and ‘affordable’ homes.

Coun Neilson told last week’s meeting of the Budget - Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee that the money in the housing revenue account can only be spent on social housing, not building private homes for sale.

SKDC would carry out a ‘demographic analysis’ to see what homes were needed the most, not the homes that would give the council the greatest profit.

“Our delivery for HRA housing will be demand-led as it doesn’t make sense to build houses we cannot sell,” said Coun Neilson.

Charmaine Morgan (Lab) asked if they would be open to the ‘right to buy’ process.

Coun Neilson replied that Mrs Thatcher introduced the “fantastic policy”, but “some of the properties we are going to build are going to be designed for extra care.”

“They will be removed from the right to buy. It won’t be in the electorate’s interest if these properties are sold to council tenants.”

SKDC, the meeting heard, has also recruited an assistant chief executive for housing delivery to help with its plans.

A council report said: “This new post is identified as being pivotal to supporting the delivery of the council’s housing growth ambitions by utilising its role as a major social landlord and by also engaging with other housing providers to develop strategic partnering opportunities.”

A further £500,000 would be incorporated into base budgets to support these ambitions, and a further £297,000 would support the communications, public relations, customer services and other related activity.

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