Pledge over affordable homes in spite of cuts

North Yorkshire housing chiefs are vowing to continue providing homes to meet an affordable accommodation crisis across the county, despite £67m Government funding being slashed in half.

The North Yorkshire and York Housing Board delivered its promise yesterday (mon), after unveiling the details of the buildings it has provided over the past three years.

But as the Yorkshire Post revealed earlier this year, with its budget expected to be slashed in half for work taking place between now and 2015, there are grave fears that it will struggle to continue to provide the houses vitally needed across the county.

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Coun Richard Foster, chair of the housing board, said: “When we put together our investment plan in early 2007 we couldn’t have known how important it was going to be to provide new affordable homes for people in need.

“Our plan took us through a time of turmoil for the housing industry, and provided a much-needed investment into North Yorkshire not just to deliver new homes but make sure existing homes are improved and safe.

“By working together we made the public investment we received stretch much further, and have delivered some excellent and much-needed outcomes for local people.

“We know we are living in different times now, but by continuing to focus on our local priorities as a partnership in North Yorkshire, we believe we can continue to meet the local needs of our communities, and direct our resources to good effect.”

Unveiling its list of achievements since 2008, the board says it has built more than 1,800 new affordable homes and improved 5,000.

Nearly 6,000 families were helped to avoid homelessness and a new safe refuge for women and children escaping domestic abuse was built, as were 227 new specialist homes with care for the elderly.