Increasing affordable housing
We are the biggest landlord in Leicester, with around 22,000 homes across the city. Our aim is to ensure a decent home is within the reach of every citizen in Leicester.
At one time the council was a significant builder of homes. Between 1900 and 1979 the council developed 24 housing estates across the city, providing affordable housing to people who needed it.
Since the Conservative government introduced the Right to Buy scheme in 1982, the council has been forced to sell 16,000 council homes, which has drastically reduced our stock.
We currently have 6,000 people on our council register (waiting list) waiting for homes. We manage to offer homes to around 1,300 people a year.
Our own housing company launched
In 2018 we launched our own housing company, Leicester Housing Ltd, which will start building hundreds of new council homes across the city from spring 2019.
Our aim is to build 370 homes, most of which will be for rent. We will sell a few for a small profit to help fund our house-building programme, which will cost around £50 million.
Subject to planning permission our first phase of building will see 29 homes built in different locations. They will be a mix of two and three bedroom homes and some bungalows.
We will build the first phase on land we already own, in Hamilton, Thurnby Lodge, and Beaumont Leys. We will announce our plans for the second phase of building next year.
We are also using money from the sale of council homes, combined with funding from our capital programme and some borrowing, to buy properties we can offer at affordable rent to people on our register who are in the most need.
Helping others to increase affordable housing in the city
Since 2011 we have enabled 300 affordable homes to be built across the city. All of these have been built by housing associations on land we have sold to them for £1, or for a discounted rate.
This has resulted in more than £29 million being invested in affordable housing in the city.
All of these homes have gone to people on our housing register. They’ve been built on Manor Farm, Bendbow Rise, The Portwey, Saffron Lane, Hamelin Road and Heathcott Road.
We have also given £1 million from the sale of council homes under the Right to Buy scheme to the Riverside Housing Association to help it build 46 affordable homes in Beaumont Leys. All of these homes will go to people who are on our register.
The actual cost of building these homes is more than £4.6 million, so our £1 million investment gives us a great return.
The government will only allow us to use 30% of the money we get from Right to Buy sales to build our own houses, so we get more houses built by working with other providers.
Our aim is to continue to work with local housing associations and other developers to enable more affordable housing schemes to be built in the city, as well as building our own homes.