City council to draw up first major house-building programme in 20 years

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Lancaster City Council’s cabinet is to be asked to agree a council house-building programme for the first time in more than 20 years.

If approved at Tuesday’s meeting, November 5, suitable sites for new homes in the district will be identified.

Up to £2 million from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) will fund around 60 homes over three years, particularly in-demand one-bedroom properties.

As part of the project, former council properties which were bought by former tenants under the ‘right to buy’ scheme could also be purchased in selected areas to add to the housing stock.

Coun Karen Leytham, cabinet member for housing, said: “We still have a fair way to go before we can hand over the keys to the first tenants, but this is an important step to our goal of building much-needed affordable rented accommodation.

“The Lancaster district is in tremendous need of new properties, especially one-bedroom accommodation, and any homes built under this scheme would make an important contribution to helping some of society’s most vulnerable.”

The HRA funding is ring-fenced, meaning it can only be spent on housing-related projects.

The account operates on a ‘self-financing’ basis and its income - predominantly funded from the rents paid by council tenants - must cover all its day-to-day spend on services including the costs of maintaining and improving the housing stock.