Chorley Council's new housing company aiming to bring more affordable homes to the area
The move, which would see the authority buy 120 homes over the next six years, will also provide much-needed income to protect services for residents right across the borough.
The proposal, which is a key part of the council’s corporate strategy, will see the authority provide a mix of affordable housing and private rented homes.
Chorley Coun Jane Fitzsimons, who is responsible for housing at the borough council, said: “This is another example of us doing something different to act on what people tell us is important to them while balancing the books as our government grant completely disappears.
“Far too many people in the borough are telling us they can’t afford their own home, or can’t even afford to rent in Chorley, and one way we can do something about this is by influencing the housing market ourselves.
“By setting up a housing company we aim to provide a number of properties at an affordable rate while improving the standard of homes in the private rented sector, particularly for people with limited choice.”
The plan would see the authority borrow up to £13.8 million to fund the project as part of a long term investment that take nine years to cover its costs and start to generate a profit for the council.
The move to set up a housing company is something other local authorities have done successfully and could include a mix of new homes bought direct from developers, the development of homes on council-owned land and the purchase of homes from the wider housing market.
“We’ve done a lot of work to get to this stage and we feel this is a great opportunity to address the lack of affordable homes to rent and drive improvements in the private rented sector,” said Coun Fitzsimons.
“The next steps will be to get all the finer detail sorted to set up the company and we aim to have the first board meeting early next year.”
Further detail will be brought back to councillors before the company is formally set up with the intention of it being managed in-house by the council.