Colchester Labour is bringing forwarded plans to deliver a £22-million pound project that will provide an extra 100 council homes for homeless Colchester residents by the end of March 2022. The project is led by Labour Councillor Adam Fox, Cabinet Member for Housing.
Colchester Borough Council can fund its ambitious plans to purchase 100 former council homes on the open market over the next 18 months by borrowing through its dedicated housing budget. The rent paid by tenants covers the cost of the borrowing over a 30 year period.
The project will be used to provide quality homes at council rents and managed by Colchester Borough Homes (CBH), to help ease the pressure on the borough’s housing waiting list. Currently there are nearly 3,000 households on the council’s housing register.
We will buy the houses that are most in need including family homes and will be purchased in areas where the council already owns properties. We will also focus on homes that could be adapted to ensure they are suitable for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility, as well as being made as energy efficient as possible to contribute to the council’s climate emergency commitments.
The council has a proven track record of delivering these kinds of projects. In recent years we have bought properties to be used as temporary accommodation to house homeless households whilst waiting for permanent homes to become available. Last year, the council purchased 35 homes as part of its commitment to acquire former council houses.
This new scheme will bring the total investment in projects buying new homes to support those on the council’s Housing Register to more than £57m over six years.
The project also supplements the work being undertaken through the council’s housing-building company, Amphora Homes, to build new council homes across the borough.
The project also fits into our Covid19 Recovery Plan. It provides secure homes for people in Colchester who most need them. They will also be brought up to standard and fitted with additional measures to make them more energy efficient by local contractors.
The project forms part of Labour’s Better Homes campaign to deliver the good quality homes that Colchester needs.