We are investing in more housing

We are boosting our stock of homes to address the district's immediate and future housing needs, a top priority for our new administration.

The new investment in our housing supply is supported by the Government's Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF).

LAHF is a government grant offered to councils to help with the pressures around placement breakdown for Homes for Ukraine guests and to support Afghan families stuck in bridging hotels.

Under the first phase of funding earlier this year, we bought seven properties in Sherford, on the outskirts of Plymouth, and will welcome new tenants in December 2023. Due to an underspend in the project, we have agreed to buy one more property. The location of the new home is still to be decided.

We have also agreed to put £475,000 towards buying three properties under the second phase of funding which will be available before spring 2024. By the end of the project, we will own 11 homes through the LAHF scheme.

Cllr Denise O'Callaghan, our Lead Member for Housing said: "Supporting our local communities is at the heart of what we do in South Hams. By investing in these new properties, we can make sure that we meet the immediate needs of those who are displaced by conflict and war.

"Our investment in these properties is also part of our long-term strategy to build on the District's housing stock. Once the current need for this type of accommodation declines, we will use the properties for our wider housing needs."

The decision to purchase the properties was agreed at today's (21 September) Exec Committee meeting. At the same meeting, we also discussed the progress of our house building programme at St Anns Chapel, agreeing to the future management arrangements for its rental properties as well as the advertising of its three open market properties.

Cllr Denise O'Callaghan continued: "It is great to hear that we will soon be able to advertise our properties at St Anns Chapel. This important development will offer local people the opportunity to access housing at lower than market costs, vital, when so many are facing financial difficulty.

"Please keep an eye on Devon Home Choice as our rental properties will be available very soon. We very much look forward to welcoming our first new tenants this autumn."