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New council homes to put "people before profit"

Middlesbrough Council – for the first time in a generation – will build quality, affordable homes putting “people before profit”.

The authority’s Executive yesterday approved bold proposals for positive intervention in the housing market which will allow the Council to build homes to meet the needs of a growing population.

A report to the Executive highlighted an issue of affordability in housing as the average cost of new homes in the town rises beyond the means of many residents looking to get on the housing ladder.

One significant gap identified is for professionals in the 25-35 age category who are increasingly unable to afford to buy a property but do not want to rent the older terraced properties that are prevalent in the market.

Other groups who could benefit from the targeted building of new homes are the elderly and disabled residents.

Cllr Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said: “What we are saying is that for the first time in generations, Middlesbrough Council will seek to build houses.

“This is a hugely exciting report that can mean the Council can create quality, affordable homes to sell or to rent, and to build specialist homes such as live-work properties as well as building where developers don’t want to because there’s no profit to be had.

“This is about putting people before profit and building houses that suit the diverse needs of our current and future residents.”

The Executive also approved the formation of a Shadow Board for housing delivery – a working group – which will be made up of Council officers and Cllrs Lewis Young, Nicky Walker and Denise Rooney.

The Shadow Board will now begin work on working up the housing delivery model that would give a steady supply of affordable housing, increase the pace of housebuilding across Middlesbrough to ensure continued economic growth, and to maximise income to the public purse to pay for services.