New company aims to provide more good quality affordable housing for Lancaster district
Lancaster City Council has founded a new company to help redesign the local housing market and support more residents into affordable accommodation.
It follows the publication of the recent Homes Strategy which highlighted that in excess of 6,000 households in the district require affordable housing, but many struggle to find a property that meets their needs.
Morehomes for the Bay, which was incorporated on Monday, aims to change that and will allow the council to deliver a wider range of good quality affordable housing. This will include the provision of new homes for social rental, private rent and for purchase by owner-occupiers.
By establishing the new company the council will benefit from greater flexibility and legal freedoms to do more for its communities. It will also help the council to maximise borrowing options and capital finance to deliver new housing schemes.
Coun Cary Matthews, cabinet member with responsibility for housing, said: “A perfect storm of insufficient quality housing, high rental charges in the private sector and welfare reforms have had a massive impact on our communities.
“Many people find themselves unable to find decent homes they can afford to live in and the city council is committed to changing this and diversifying the district’s housing market.
“The formation of this new company is a landmark in that journey and although still very much in its infancy, it will allow us to make real change and create healthy thriving communities.”
Coun Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council added: “This is an exciting new development for the city council. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved for the energy and enthusiasm shown for it even while dealing with Covid difficulties.
“Officers and members face a real challenge in creating the housing our residents need. I am sure Morehomes for the Bay will provide a significant help to achieving their ambitions."
The creation of Morehomes for the Bay is a key component in the council’s Homes Strategy, which sets out both the strategic context of housing in relation to its ambitions and national policy changes, and the local context of the district’s population, housing market, climate change and regeneration priorities.
Although it will operate independently, the company is wholly owned and operated by Lancaster City Council.