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Major investment in homes for Wiltshire

Wiltshire Council has agreed major investment to provide up to 250 homes to support long term need in Wiltshire.

Published 14 July 2023
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Wiltshire Council has agreed major investment to provide up to 250 homes to support long term need in Wiltshire.

A report to the Cabinet this week shared an update on the current and future activity of buying a range of housing to meet a variety of council service provision.

When setting the budget in February the Cabinet set aside £10m in reserves to buy homes.  This funding will be used as equity to go and buy up to £40m worth of housing in Wiltshire to deal long term with a wide range of housing needs for Wiltshire's residents e.g. temporary accommodation, social care.

Additionally, through a number of government programmes, the council is also in the process of acquiring homes to meet specific requirements.

Wiltshire was allocated government grant funding of £4.012m to acquire 24 homes for Ukrainian families and six for Afghan families through the Local Authority Housing Fund. Homes acquired under this scheme would be in the council's Housing Revenue Account (HRA), and therefore the HRA Build Programme funds, already approved, would be used as the leverage and the grant would be added to that existing budget.

The council will also use the remaining balance of government Homes for Ukraine funding, once grant conditions are met, to acquire housing to deliver long term solutions. The grant funding would be leveraged up through the use of borrowing at a rate of 40% grant funding and 60% debt. This means the total amount available will be more and the council's own company, Stone Circle Housing, would be used to acquire the homes.

Overall, it is anticipated the programmes will amount to more than £50m investment to deliver up to 250 homes to support long term needs including the properties to fulfil the commitment to home Ukrainian and Afghan families.

At a cabinet meeting council leaders reviewed the houses already acquired, and agreed housing acquisitions would be made through individual business cases.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: We are committed to this significant investment as a clear indication we are taking an innovative and serious approach to addressing housing issues in Wiltshire. We are using funding ring-fenced for Ukrainians to support them whilst using our own funding to provide housing support for Wiltshire residents. Our Business Plan underlines our mission to have the right housing. These proposals will ensure across the breadth of council services that secure housing plays a key part in providing long term solutions to solving residents' needs.

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