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Wiltshire Council sets out basis for new partnership with housing associations to increase social housing and fight climate change

Wiltshire Council's Cabinet has today (Tuesday 16 March) agreed to establish a new five-year partnership arrangement with Registered Social Housing Providers to support the delivery of more affordable housing in Wiltshire.

Published 16 March 2021
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Wiltshire Council's Cabinet has today (Tuesday 16 March) agreed to establish a new five-year partnership arrangement with Registered Social Housing Providers to support the delivery of more affordable housing in Wiltshire.

The council's current partnership arrangement with Registered Providers, usually housing associations, expires at the end of this month, so this new agreement will enable more affordable homes to the built, particularly in rural communities, until 2026.

At present, the council operates an 'open' partnership with its 12 current Registered Providers, which allows Registered Providers to join or leave the partnership at any time, so long as they sign the partnership agreement and pay the enabling fee.

Following consultation with these Registered Providers, Cabinet has agreed to a new formal partnership asking Registered Providers to demonstrate their commitment to the council's priorities, including climate change and meeting the strategic housing delivery requirements of the Local Plan, such as more social housing in Wiltshire villages.

Simon Hendey, Director of Housing and Commercial Development, said: "The basis of this new agreement with housing associations in Wiltshire puts the needs of our residents first, ensuring that there is more affordable housing to buy and rent where these homes are needed in the county, particularly in rural areas.

"It will also allow us to work with partners that are aligned to our priorities as a council, and will improve environmental standards to help us combat climate change.

"Subject to further discussions with our Registered Provider partners, the proposed agreement allows for both a one-off fee, and a 'per unit' fee for each property they deliver, which will provide better value to our residents.

"Housing associations that offer accommodation in Wiltshire will be encouraged to accelerate the delivery of more affordable homes, either through building more or purchases; improve the environmental standards of their existing properties, as well as new ones; and build in both urban and rural areas.

"This will also help to ensure rural housing remains affordable and that our partners fully engage with resident groups and listen to their needs."

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Published 16 March 2021