£55m to be spent on 358 new council houses Leeds

Leeds City Council looks set to invest more than £50m in new council houses.

Plans to invest heavily in 358 new houses across the city will be put to decision-makers next week, following a relaxing of government rules on borrowing to fund housebuilding.

The authority hopes to have the homes finished by 2021, and claims it is already looking at future sites to build further social housing.

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It follows recent news that the government lifted limits on the amounts councils could borrow from its housing revenue account (HRA) to help fund the building of homes in areas of high need.

The total cost of the scheme is expected to be £54.8m. Of this, £38m would be borrowed from the HRA, £6.3m would come in the form of a grant from Homes England, while £10.4m would come from money the council made through right to buy sales of council houses.

A report set to go before members of Leeds City Council’s executive board claims: “Through the proposals outlined in this report, the council will be able to deliver one of its most ambitious council housing growth programmes over the next three years.

“The housing schemes detailed in this report represent the first phase of the council’s new build housing plans. Looking ahead, the intention is to continue to deliver at volume and at pace, with an aspiration to deliver 300 new council homes per year on an ongoing basis.”

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said: “The council has worked hard to ensure we are in a position to move ahead and build new council houses across the city at such a quick pace.

“We are committed to providing new homes through the housing growth programme and the lending cap being lifted by the government means that we can do more to deliver new high quality affordable homes much faster.”