By Mia Wilson
York City Council, for the first time, is proposing to establish its first housing development company in a hope to build new houses at a faster rate.
The company, wholly-owned by City of York Council hopes to accelerate the building of new homes within the city whilst generating a financial gain which will be returned to council services.
All aspects of the property ladder will be addressed. From first time buyers, to those wishing to downsize, the company is hoping to create affordable properties for all buyers.
A 5 year business plan demonstrating which council-owned sites will be considered for development, will be drawn up by the council in the coming months.
The old Nestle factory on Haxby Road in undergoing a similar treatment. The site has been unused for a decade after Nestle moved their production to a purpose built site. Following a long legal battle, Latimer Constructions has been granted planning permission to build over two hundred homes on the 11 acre site. These homes will be joined by a convenience store, storage for 288 bicycles and 173 parking spaces. (https://theyorkie.co.uk/2017/12/07/i-am-in-love-with-the-choco/)
The combination of high demand, increasing prices and difficult market for first time buyers to invest. The council run company intends to offer houses on a more affordable market, as Yorks market is currently 9.6 times higher than the average salary in the UK.
Counselor Sam Lisle, executive member for housing and safe neighbors has agreed that the council “need to think more strategically about how we can best utilize our land assets”.
There is speculation that a plan will be drawn up early next year to show which land will be used to develop York’s affordable housing market.