Harlow Council secures £640,000 to deliver new council homes at social rent
News / Tue 30th Nov 2021 at 11:27am
HARLOW Council has secured £640,000 of funding for its Bushey Croft development which guarantees that all 16 council homes will be available to Harlow families at the lowest rent levels possible.
The funding from Homes England reduces the cost of the development which sees 10 two-bedroom homes and six three-bedroom homes built. The development is on track to be completed next spring.
The environment and biodiversity in the area will also be enhanced, with the remainder of the funding being used to ensure that the new development is a pleasant and green place to live – in line with the Gibberd principles.
Energy efficient measures will be provided in the homes with A-rated boilers and 400mm of loft insulation meaning energy bills will be kept as low as possible. Swift boxes, bee bricks and hedgehog pathways together with enhancement of additional allotment space and the planting of fruit trees and a wildflower meadow will now all form part of the development.
On a visit to the development last week to see the progress and announce the funding boost, Councillor Dan Swords, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said that families paying the lowest rent levels is a priority for new council housing developments.
He said: “Today we are announcing a £640,000 boost to the development of 16 new council homes. This money means that these new homes, will be let at the lowest possible rent levels, as opposed to “affordable rent” as was previously planned.
The grant funding comes following a successful bid from the Council to Homes England, because delivering new Council homes is one of our top priorities. We will be bringing forward a detailed housebuilding plan in short order to meet that ambition.
“Not only will this development provide new council homes for Harlow families, but also a pleasant environment in which to live in line with the Gibberd principles. The development is making great progress and I look forward to being there when the keys to the first home are handed over next spring.”
Councillor Simon Carter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:“As a council we are committed to ensuring there is a home affordable for everyone. With this grant we are able to bring a safe and secure home within the reach of the lowest paid.”
But who is the Landlord of these new "Council houses".....is it the council or the property developer? If it is the property developer letting the council house council tenants in them, the lease is only for 5 years, so what council tenant in their right mind would want to swap a councik house for life for a 5 year tenancy whereby you 'could' be kicked out for a time period?!
As well as the abo e point mentioned do these new dwellings fall under housing association mantle or does the rent go straight to the council?
To answer your questions the Council is the developer and will also be the landlord and will receive/collect the rent - these homes were always going to be for social rent rather than ‘affordable’ as suggested in the article!
16 homes, if truly Council homes is to be welcomed, but compare that to Harlow Council backing 10000 new unaffordable executive homes that with existing infrastructure will impose overloads on our town, the destruction of the River Stort Valley ecology more flooding and discharges of raw sewage into the Valley and existing Harlow homes. The priorities of the Council are so myopic, turning Harlow into a mini city is the last thing we need. A 1000 new Council homes, 10% of the current build, available to Harlow residents is what is needed with revised green transport, no Eastern Crossing and a new sewage and water treatment on the Gilston estate hggt, is what is needed.
16 homes at social rents is a really positive step. There is a huge difference between social housing and affordable housing. Very few people on zero hour contracts or key worker salaries will be able to obtain mortgages for ‘affordable’ houses. We should also be looking at the amount of empty homes in the area and look for ways of getting them occupied.
We already have the biggest council Estate in Europe called Church langley.
Have the council made a change to it's housing policy because when my son applied to go on the waiting list the first question they asked him was does he work and when he told them he does there reply was you will have to go private as they will not accept his application. So I presume that those who will be offered the houses will be unemployed and on benefits.
Remember the right to buy council property still exists, so after 5yrs, I believe without checking the working tenants can buy at agreatly reduced cost and bang goes another social house. Repeel the right to buy to keep social housing for the needy, working or not.
A proud comment about A rated boilers. Now, I thought this development was instigated by the labour council (good that it is still going ahead), that council also declared a climate emergency (I was amused that an emergency was not first item on the meeting's agenda). So why are gas boilers being installed rather than modern low polluting systems. Or do the Tories think COP26 was bullshit or only applies to others. Only the other day they were promising to make Harlow the best town around. Surely there is a brilliant opportunity here to create an ultra modern development to set an example to the whole country. Sir Fred would applaud that, not filling in a space that he hadn't intended for housing
The housing register contains approximately 4000 people, so do this 250 more times and you’ve cracked it
Most of you don't live in Harlow, and most of you don't know Harlow. Do you really think 16 council houses is enough, when you've allowed thousands of private unaffordable housing to go a head . I think we all know where your priorities are.
Kim I'm born and bred in Harlow 40 years, I know Harlow. Perhaps if we stop taking London's anti-social low lifes and slow our immigration into this country, then we would have more houses available for the good residents of this Town. Our infrastructure is at breaking point already (hospital beds and classroom sizes).... building more houses is not the answer!!!