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Sheffield announces £400m investment plan for council homes

Sheffield City Council has announced it will invest over £400m into its council housing stock and reduce rents for over 39,000 council homes.

The proposals, published as part of the council’s annual review of its Housing Revenue Account (HRA) business plan, include plans to build 1,600 new homes, acquire new homes, and ensure that tenants’ homes are well maintained for the next five years.

The proposals will be put for approval by the council’s cabinet next Wednesday (January 16).

Cllr Jim Steinke, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety at the council, said: ‘We are pleased that we will be able to build more quality, safe and affordable homes as a result of the lifting of the Housing Revenue Account Cap.

‘We will be working closely with tenants and leaseholders to develop our plans over the coming year to make sure that we get the balance right between improving our existing stock, improving the environment and, building the type of homes we need to meet the ever-growing demand for a council home.’

The council’s proposed programme will see over £400m of investment in homes and estates over the next five years, including improvements to roofs, communal areas, and recycling facilities.

It is hoped that the five-year investment will assist with the creation of many apprenticeships and job opportunities in local communities.

The council said that it will look to place particular focus on improving the environments around tenants’ homes, allowing council homes to be increasingly seen as a desirable choice for would-be tenants rather than a necessity.

‘We want to build homes of the right size and type in the right places to make sure we are meeting increased demand for social rented and specialist homes in the city in the right way,’ Steinke added.

‘It will be important for the government to give councils across the country what they need so that they can build truly affordable homes for social rent.’

The council confirmed that it will look to keep costs under control by seeking value for money on external contracts and exploring further savings in its housing revenue account.

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