Work to start on 1,000 new council homes

Cllr Harry Harpham cabinet member for homes and regeneration
Cllr Harry Harpham cabinet member for homes and regeneration

Work to build new homes in the Darnall and Manor areas of Sheffield will begin in April as the first phase of a project to create 1,000 extra council houses.

The city council says it wants to build or buy the replacement homes by 2020 to ‘increase the choice and availability of high quality affordable homes for people in the city’ as well as bringing in £2m of national investment.

Work will start in April to build 18 homes on Scotia Drive, the Manor, and 33 properties on Ouse Road, Darnall.

Further details of phase two in the new homes section of the project will be announced later this year.

The council is also looking at where demand is highest to purchase new properties, although this is on an individual basis.

Next year the council will be investing £65m in council housing improvements such as replacement heating systems, insulation, new roofs and plans for the installation of solar panels.

It is expected that 11,000 new kitchens, 26,000 replacement roofs and 11,000 upgraded heating systems will be put in place.

Installing panels would also bring in £30m of subsidies from energy companies to offset costs, a report to the council’s cabinet says.

It added that feedback from community forums showed that ‘the need for an increase in council homes continues to be a high priority.’

Coun Harry Harpham, cabinet member for homes, said: “Our plans are ambitious and will increase the number of good quality affordable homes for Sheffield people.

“They will also make neighbourhoods safer, more attractive places to live.

“It’s a priority to me that we help our tenants where we can, many of whom have been affected by benefit changes and increased living costs.

“We’re making properties more energy efficient to reduce bills and help people stay warm in their own homes.”

The council said its £400m investment programme will protect 350 jobs.