Sheffield to invest £500m in council housing

Sheffield City Council said it is set to approve its Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan for 2020-2021, which includes proposals to invest £500 million over five years into building new homes and improving existing council housing.

Last year the council committed to providing 1,600 new council homes by 2023-24 and this is being extended by an additional 1,500, taking the total to 3,100 new council homes over the next 10 years.

“However, the main priority and biggest investment will be in the city’s existing council housing stock, to carry out maintenance and improvements that will make sure homes remain safe, modern and warm,” said Sheffield City Council.

Councillor Paul Wood, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety at Sheffield City Council, said: “We have ambitious plans to provide housing that gives people options, meets the demand and varying needs of our residents, and creates thriving communities.

“The truth is there isn’t sufficient affordable housing in the city, we don’t have enough options available within our council housing stock and we need to maintain the quality of tenants’ existing homes.

“We are tackling all of these issues head on, investing millions of pounds to make sure people in Sheffield have suitable, well maintained homes that they can afford and be proud of.

“As well as all of these benefits to our housing offer, this level of investment over the next few years will also create hundreds of employment and apprenticeship opportunities for local people, providing essential jobs and up-skilling our future tradespeople.”

The council said this investment in new homes and improvements to existing homes and services is funded through tenant rents and borrowing.

“For the last four years rents have been reduced by 1% per year in line with Government rent policy,” said the council.

“As a result Sheffield lost 13% of its projected rental income which has had a significant impact on the business plan.

“The Government is now allowing councils to increase rents which will mean an average increase of 2.7% or £1.98 per week for Sheffield tenants if approved by councillors.

“There will be no increase in service charges for tenants in sheltered or furnished accommodation and no increase in charges for community heating.”