In the harsh climate for public spending, it’s good to learn of two northern housing initiatives: 800 new ‘affordable’ homes are planned for the Leeds city region over the next four years; and up to 3000 council-owned houses in York stand to get free solar power.

Yorkshire Housing has secured funding from the Government’s affordable homes programme for the new-build which will be shared between the 11 councils which make up Leeds CR: Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, North Yorkshire, Selby, Wakefield and York.

It’s a small light in a naughty world, as Ged Walsh, the business and development director at Yorkshire Housing, says.

With the house building budget cut by 63% and a desperate shortage of affordable homes this is welcome news for the Leeds city region. We have identified some sites for the new homes but will be working with our local authority partners to commit this money to build homes where they are best placed and most needed.

The plan comes on top of similar funding for YH’s mortgage rescue system which reckons to have kept 250 households since 2009 in homes which would otherwise have been repossessed. The new money should provide similar protection for another 220 clients over the next two years, alongside the 16,000 ‘affordable’ properties which YH manages.

Yorkshire Housing is one of 146 housing associations and council taking part in Government plans to build 80,000 new homes by 2015, some 8000 of them in the North East and Yorkshire and Humberside. We’ll keep checking on progress.

In York, meanwhile, the council has got hold of money through the Government’s Feed-in Tariff to get solar panels installed on homes in its ownership. Working with EM Power, York calculates that income from power-generated by the ‘solar houses’ will provide income to extend the scheme or widely or help pay for other sustainable projects in the city.

Houses need to have suitably angled roofs facing the right way to benefit, and initial surveys have come up with the figure of 3000. This may be whittled down by as much as a third in further, more rigorous tests, or because tenants don’t want to through the bother of panel installation. All those eligible will get a letter this week explaining the offer and the relatively small disruption involved, but they retain the right to refuse if they so wish.

Source: guardian

Enter Your Mail Address


Related Posts: