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Council backs Lib Dems calls for more social and affordable housing

December 13, 2020 3:12 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

Rugby Town HallAt a Full meeting of Rugby Borough Council on 26 November 2020, Councillors voted to back a motion put forward by the Liberal Democrats to deliver a step change in the provision of social and affordable housing through Rent Now Buy Later and Community Led Land Trusts.

These ideas were put forward by Cllr Neil Sandison (Eastlands) and Cllr Tim Douglas (Paddox) as a notice of motion and received cross-party backing.

It means the Rugby Council's Executive Director will now carry out further research into the projects before reporting back next year with recommendations.

Cllr Sandison told the meeting:

"I think we recognise that there is clearly a crisis in social and affordable housing.

"Up to November 10 there were 1,218 households on the council waiting list. If we are heading towards a significant recession due to Covid-19 and the climate emergency, then we do need to develop new forms of tenure to offset what may be a slowdown in housing development.

"We do have a number of small brownfield sites that would be suitable for community-led self-build schemes. I think this is the right way forward for this council."

He explained that some of the problem lay with the viability assessments carried out when developers presented their plans.

Motion to Rugby Borough Council Liberal Democrat Group - November 2020

Rent Now Buy Later New Homes and small site self-build affordable community homes.

This Council recognizes the acute shortage of social and affordable housing currently being delivered by developers in the Rugby housing market through the approved development plan.

This is in part is due to the viability assessments carried out independently prior to approval of applications by the Council. This is having a negative impact on the delivery of social and affordable housing. Council also notes that our assets are a valuable resource and could enable this Council to deliver socially affordable homes in line with existing policy to rent.

Considering this, Council urgently requests that the Executive Director carry out research into

  1. the feasibility of a modern rent now buy later option based on using the "Rent Plus" model which could also entitle tenants to take up the option of home purchase at a later date.
  2. brownfield sites in the urban area which may be an attractive option for "Community led Land Trusts" along with self-build trusts which can aid the regeneration of these long-neglected sites and help level up those communities.

and

  1. A report be brought back to council at the commencement of the new municipal year 2021 with recommendations

Proposed by Cllr Neil Sandison

Seconded by Cllr Tim Douglas

https://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/environment/small-brownfield-sites-across-rugby-could-host-council-houses-rent-now-buy-later-scheme-3050122?fbclid=IwAR01zoJpItbDWy43Llqq8SlTk3R5ygv8cafD8Paow-Ejuw9yAglUQCjT0mg