High quality affordable homes scheme for Scarborough set to progress

A scheme to provide high-quality affordable housing in Scarborough is set be moved forward by the borough council tomorrow (Tues).

Monday, 14th December 2020, 11:58 am
Updated Monday, 14th December 2020, 12:02 pm

The authority’s cabinet will vote to green light two delivery models for the scheme with providers of social housing and private developers to address a homes shortage due to the average house price in the borough being nine times the local average wage.

The two models – a development agreement and an enabling and development joint venture – both require the council to join forces with a partner.

The council has already identified eight sites it owns that could be used as part of its Better Homes project.

Scarborough Town Hall.

A spokesman for the council said: “Feedback from the market engagement exercise showed that there is significant appetite and enthusiasm amongst the housing development market to work in partnership with the council to deliver the quality homes that the borough’s communities need.

“In reaching its recommendations, the project team considered a number of options used in the UK for building new homes and assessed each option for practical deliverability, design, quality and environmental standards, the quantity of homes that could be achieved, how to maximise social value and how to ensure financial sustainability.

“Based on public responses to the council’s Building a Better Borough consultation and consultation with cross party councillors on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the consensus is to provide the highest possible quality of homes, practical deliverability and for the council to have influence over developments.”

If cabinet agrees to the recommendations tomorrow, the project team will develop detailed business cases for the two preferred delivery models during the coming months.

The council sees the Better Homes project as critical to addressing the borough’s shortage of quality housing for local people, which is also affordable.

Approximately 37% of jobs in the borough are paid below the Real Living Wage and around 41% of employed clients of the local Citizens’ Advice claim in-work benefits.

This has resulted in 2,000 households on the waiting list for social rented housing and the average cost of a home valued at around seven to nine times the average salary of £27,000.

Demand for affordable homes is therefore high and the council estimates that around 220 are needed per year.

With the borough’s ageing population, there is also a need for 4,000 specialist and adaptable homes.

Cllr Carl Maw, Scarborough Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities and Housing, said: “This is a hugely important and ambitious project for the future of the borough.

"I am pleased to see it is moving at pace and despite all the complexities it involves, the project team has made excellent progress to date in narrowing down possible delivery options.

“The role of cabinet will be to look at the background to the recommendations and agree whether they are most likely to achieve our ambition for a quality home for all.

“Our decision will ensure the project team will be able to progress, with confidence, to the next stage of work required to keep the project moving forward.”

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