Leeds Labour Council is set to explore the possibility of building homes for sale.
A detailed examination is to be made of the options for the council to build and sell affordable houses.
The move comes as the council considers the implications for the supply of affordable housing to buy and rent of the Tories’ Housing and Planning bill.
You can read a summary of the impact of policies in the bill on people on the lowest incomes here.
While the bill seeks to make home ownership more accessible, even starter homes could still be out of reach for some Leeds residents.
If recommendations in the report are approved, the council will assess the opportunities to build low cost, affordable homes for sale to provide more opportunities and help meet the needs and aspirations of people who struggle to buy their own home.
Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, said:
“We’re well aware of the pressure for one- and two-bedroom homes in the city.
“People on lower incomes want to get their feet on the property ladder but can’t so they turn to the private rented sector which now outstrips the number of council homes in Leeds.
“Work is continuing to provide rented accommodation through the council and other providers, but we need good, quality homes of all tenures that are truly affordable to meet the varying needs of our residents.
“If we can help by building affordable homes for sale to fill a gap not currently being met by other providers, then we need to fully explore the options.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said:
“Providing quality, affordable homes to buy and to rent in the right locations, is vital for the viability of the city. This is particularly important when we take into account the predicted economic and population growth in Leeds.
“We understand local housing needs and remain committed to investing in housing growth. This is despite the changes and restrictions we face with national policy changes coming through the housing and planning bill.”
Councillors agreed at full council in January this year that the authority remains committed to supporting the creating of affordable accommodation to buy and rent in Leeds.
The council is already well on the way to creating 1,000 new council homes by 2018, buying long-term empty properties to use as council homes and helping other social housing providers build around 650 new homes.
Money generated from right to buy properties is also being used as grant funding to registered providers to provide more housing and the council is developing housing specifically for older people to rent and shared ownership to meet long term needs.
Leeds Labour Council is thinking and acting creatively within the straight-jacket of current legislation.
It’s that sort of creative thinking which is making Labour local government a beacon of progressive government in bleak times.
On May 5 you’ll have a chance to vote in Leeds Council elections.
We’re asking you to vote Labour – and allow us to continue the good work.