The council’s cabinet (Tuesday 20th June) agreed proposals for a new company that would build and/or acquire homes, and offer a range of buying and renting options including private sale, private rent and shared ownership as well as affordable rent.
Cllr John Lamb, Leader of the Council, said: “This is an exciting proposal that builds on our clear commitment and action to create new housing throughout the Borough. The company also has the potential to generate income for the Council to reinvest back into local public services and regenerate several areas of Southend-on-Sea, which in turn will help to improve and sustain the local economy.”
Cllr Mark Flewitt, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “It is well known that nationally we are facing a housing crisis as rents continue to rise and the availability of affordable housing continues to fall.
“One of the Council’s key priorities is to build new affordable homes to meet a range of local housing needs and this new housing investment company will allow us to do that and offer these at an affordable rent or a mixture of shared ownership and rent.
“We will also look to develop private housing for rent and sale too where appropriate and the income generated from this could be reinvested into more affordable housing and to sustain Council services.”
The company is currently in the early stages of development, with initial steps including the identification of suitable sites for building new homes.
The plans to set up a housing investment company follow on from the council’s recent commitment to build more council houses, seen recently with the completion of 18 houses and flats in Shoeburyness, and plans in the pipeline for 15 homes and a bungalow for disabled use on two underutilised garage sites at Rochford Road and Audleys Close.