A local authority is looking to increase the amount of social rental housing it provides in order to meet a growing demand.
Flintshire Council’s Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) was first introduced in 2014 to deliver a projected 500 new council social rented and affordable rented properties over a five year period.
Phases one and two of the programme have now been completed with construction work on the former Melrose Centre in Shotton, scheduled for completion in November 2018.
Meanwhile, construction work on phase three sites is starting this month at Maes Gwern in Mold, Llys Dewi at Penyffordd, near Holywell and the former council depot at Dobshill.
However, the authority said welfare reforms had led to a change in the type of houses needed since its launch, because of an increase in demand for social housing and the rise in homelessness.
As a result, it is looking to bolster the number of council social rented properties it was aiming to build from 200 to 300, while the amount of affordable rent and low cost houses to buy is being reduced from 300 to 132.
Cllr Bernie Attridge, Flintshire Council’s cabinet member for housing, said:
“In addition to changes to welfare reform seen since SHARP started, there is a shift in the size of properties needed compared to what has been provided previously through social housing, resulting in an increased demand for properties that are not readily available in the social housing stock or the private rented sector.
“This increases waiting times and numbers on the housing register, as well as having an impact on the number of people presenting as homeless to the council, where we have statutory duty to find accommodation.
“Therefore, we are currently developing plans to include schemes in the next phase of the programme to address this.”
Locations earmarked for development include Ffordd Hiraethog and Ffordd Pandarus in Mostyn, the former council depot in Bagillt, Ffordd Alyn in Buckley, land at St Andrew’s Church in Garden City and Llys Alun, Rhydymwyn.
The proposed scheme at St Andrew’s Church has been submitted to Welsh Government for consideration as part of its Innovative Housing Programme and the council will find out in November 2018 if the bid has been successful.
In total, if all of the proposed sites move forward to construction, they will deliver a further 135 houses.
Flintshire Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve a report setting out the changes next Tuesday.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter.