Plymouth City Council leader Ian Bowyer has unveiled a radical 10-year plan to boost the creation of new homes in the city.
Councillor Bowyer announced the Homes for Plymouth plan during his annual budget speech, saying it would help address the challenges many Plymouth residents have in finding an affordable home by delivering around 1,000 new homes a year.
He said: “The challenges we face as a city are very significant. There are more than 9,500 people on the housing waiting list, of which over 6,700 are assessed as being in priority housing need, while the city will need over 19,000 new homes to meet our future housing needs. This needs a credible and radical response and our Homes for Plymouth programme will deliver this by bringing forward £146 million of investment.
“While our Plan for Homes has achieved much – delivering nearly 3,000 homes, with another 1,400 under construction – we recognise that we need to do much more. Homes for Plymouth will be even more proactive and will see the City Council step up to the plate and play a greater role in the delivery of new homes.
“Homes for Plymouth demonstrates our commitment to fund, lead, innovate and engage to deliver the housing local people need.”
Councillor Bowyer said Homes for Plymouth would comprise three new funds:
A Housing Investment Fund – grants and loans to provide infrastructure that will help unlock sites and deliver around 1,260 homes. It will be also be used to directly or indirectly purchase homes to provide more affordable rented homes to meet local needs.
A Land Acquisition Fund – to purchase existing housing sites, with or without planning consent, directly tackling the barriers to delivery through joint ventures and other delivery models. This will ensure the 70 housing sites in the Plymouth Policy Area Joint Local Plan are brought forward and a constant pipeline of sites for the future. This will deliver 2,900 homes. Grants will also be provided to registered social housing providers to deliver 800 more genuinely affordable homes for social rent
A Small Sites Fund – will deliver 855 homes by working with small builders to secure planning permission and prepare sites ready for development.
Councillor Bowyer said Homes for Plymouth would help ensure existing sites are developed by reducing risks for developers, help lever in funds from Homes England and other investors, improve the affordability of new homes, increase housing choices for different groups in the community and ensure the commitments made in the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan are delivered.
The Council will work with land owners, developers, registered providers, small and medium sized builders, local communities and Homes England to deliver Homes for Plymouth.