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Medium term housing plan wants 500 homes built across borough every year

PUBLISHED: 11:25 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 23 January 2018

The Middlegate Estate in Great Yarmouth is mentioned in the strategy. Photo: George Ryan

The Middlegate Estate in Great Yarmouth is mentioned in the strategy. Photo: George Ryan

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A housing strategy for the borough of Great Yarmouth covering the next five years has reinforced the need to build 500 good quality homes a year in the district.

The new medium term policy from this year to 2022, drawn up by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, is looking at housing requirements with four main aims - ensuring there are enough good quality homes, improving the quality and use of the council’s 5,800 strong housing stock, providing a good mix of decent homes across all tenures and meeting the needs of vulnerable households.

The strategy reinforces a previous masterplan that wants 500 homes built a year to make the borough a “preferred location for private developers and housing associations”.

The new paper wants to actively promote and support home ownership in the borough and develop strong working relationships with housing associations to develop greater numbers of affordable housing.

Among its many strands the policy also wants to explore innovative approaches to funding new developments such as what are called social impact bonds, shared ownership proposals and more self-build opportunities.

To improve the council’s housing stock the authority will address immediate priority repair issues to properties experiencing health and safety risks, fund a programme so all properties meet a ‘decent homes’ rating, ensure sheltered housing is fit for purpose and look at improving the Middlegate estate.

In a decent homes section, the strategy will explore a selective licensing scheme for homes of multiple occupancy, target the most hazardous private sector properties and non-compliant landlords through effective preventative and enforcement action and establish a landlords forum to improve dialogue with private sector landlords and better management practice. Improving energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty will also be looked at.

The policy will also look at meeting the needs of vulnerable people, including the elderly and homeless. It includes drawing up a preventing homelessness strategy and developing specialist housing.

In the borough there are 45,000 homes, with 62pc privately owned, 20pc rented and 18pc are socially rented.

In the last few years only about 200 homes a year have been built- a number the council described as “sluggish”.

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