£12million reward for allowing new homes

A CASH boost of £12 million is on its way to Sheffield after the council agreed to participate in an initiative which sees local authorities rewarded by the Government for building new homes.

The New Homes Bonus pays local authorities for the number of new properties built in their area, through the payment of an amount equal to council tax for each new home added for a period of six years.

In a report to Sheffield Council’s ruling cabinet, housing officer David Belton said: “The bonus payments are based on net new homes after taking account of long-term vacant homes brought back into use and demolitions.

“They are intended to be an amount equal to council tax for each new home added, for a period of six years.”

The Government has informed Sheffield Council of its allocation for 2011/12, based on the new homes delivered between 2009 and 2010, which will be almost £2 million - adding up to £12m over six years.

Mr Belton said the extra funding was to help fund future housing developments.

Among the schemes that could benefit are proposals to build thousands of new homes on derelict land around city housing estates by the Sheffield Local Housing Company.

Sheffield Council cabinet members agreed to set up a fund to receive the payments under the New Homes Bonus initiative at a meeting this week.

The decision was welcomed by opposition Lib Dems.

The party’s leader, Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, said: “This is great news for Sheffield thanks to the coalition Government’s New Homes Bonus policy and our work to deliver new homes whilst in control of the council. Not only do we get a £12m cash boost, we should also see extra new local homes built at a time when we need it most.”