This month, January 2019, City of York Council will vote on proposals to build 550 new council houses across the City, 40% of which will be ‘affordable’.
The Government’s Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’ established a clear role for local authorities to “create radical, lasting reform to boost housing supply and affordability by using their powers of general competence to actively engage in the facilitation of housing delivery through the exploitation of publicly owned land, providing local solutions that work for local communities”.
In response, City of York Council set out (December 2017) a plan to use council land and investment to accelerate housing delivery across York. This would include 550 homes, 40% of which would be ‘affordable’, across a number of sites:
– Burnholme (former Burnholme School site)
– Askham Bar (former Park & Ride site)
– Clifton (former Clifton Without School)
– Acomb (former Manor School)
– Tang Hall (former Woolnough House Older Person’s Home)
– Fulford (land and property at Hospital Fields Road and Ordnance Lane)
– Westfield (former Lowfield School site)
In addition, the Council will be recommended to sell the former Tang Hall library site on the open market. Due to the site’s small size, the Council do not feel a worthwhile housing development could be created there.
Fast forward to July 2018, and an updated Housing Delivery Programme report was produced which set out how the above could be achieved. Now (17th January 2019) the Council’s Executive will vote on these proposed sites.
Funding will come from the Housing Revenue Account and from the sale of current land and assets.
Some stand out stats from the reports include:
– The average rental price in York is £879 per month.
– Rent has risen 12% in the last five years.
– A family with one full and one part time earner on average earnings or below could not afford to rent a typical three bedroom house in York.
– There is already evidence of recruitment difficulties (through unaffordable housing) in health and social care — two areas that have a direct and profound impact on the wellbeing of York citizens.