Council set to build new homes again

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A council could soon be building council houses again in a bid to deal with housing shortages.

In December cabinet members of Forest Heath District Council will be putting forward a business plan for the setting up of a wholly council

owned housing company.

Back in June, the council announced that together with St Edmundsbury Borough Council it could soon be buying and building houses to cope with what it called “a crisis in affordable housing.”

In order to try to meet predicted future demand, the two councils, working together as West Suffolk, are proposing to deliver 455 affordable homes a year – nearly 200 more than they are achieving currently.

“The challenges are massive,” said Cllr Rona Burt, Forest Heath’s cabinet member for planning, housing and transport. “What is clear is that relying purely on housing developers to meet our future housing needs is no longer the answer.

“In the commercial world you have to make sure your supply is strong enough to meet your demand. That is why we are looking into setting up our own housing company to buy and rent out properties, and to invest in new build affordable housing.”