Thousands of affordable new homes needed in Sheffield

Sheffield Town Hall

At least 2,000 new homes need to be built in Sheffield every year and almost half of them have to be affordable.

That’s the findings of a new report which will be presented to the council’s Cabinet next week. It says the council needs to intervene to build more new homes and warns of serious consequences if it doesn’t take action.

The New Homes Delivery Plan sets out proposals to build thousands of new homes in areas where they are needed most with an investment of £25 million.

For the past few years, around 1,400 new homes have been built each year. Officers predict  the number of new homes over the next five years will be 8,494 - significantly less than needed.

With the Plan, 10,428 homes could be delivered over the same period which would meet Sheffield’s targets.

Proposals include:

The council building 600 more affordable new homes

A further 11 council owned sites could be marketed sooner, providing over 400 new homes in the next five years

Sheffield Housing Company could deliver over 350 new homes

A programme in the city centre could unlock sites with the potential for 500 homes

Working with Rotherham to provide over 18,000 homes over the next 20-30 years.  

“Affordability is at the heart of it,” says Janet Sharpe, director of housing and neighbourhoods service, in a Cabinet report. “Each year 725 new affordable homes are now required.

“We also need to widen the narrow range of homes and tenures currently being delivered by house builders in the private sector, the majority of which are apartments or student accommodation and which do not adequately meet the housing needs of many current and future households.”

The council wants a balanced mix of house types and tenancies by both the private and public sector, including council housing. It wants to make use of brownfield sites and

get the maximum planning gain from developments to support affordable and social housing.

The Plan will make best use of “scarce resources” and will look at a more coordinated way of buying land.

The report warns of the consequences if nothing is done. “The programme would support vital construction jobs which would be unlikely to be delivered without the proposed interventions. The potential impacts of Brexit and the political uncertainty in the run up to 2019 are likely to negatively impact house building activity, and make it difficult to maintain current delivery levels.

“Without interventions the delivery of housing by the private and public sectors is forecast to fall significantly short of the scale needed in the city. The narrow types and tenures of housing currently being delivered by the private sector are expected to remain and continue to fail to meet the housing needs of current and future households.”

Cabinet will discuss it at a meeting on Wednesday, September 19.

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