Quality and accessible homes for all’ is the clear vision of a new draft Housing Strategy for St Helens Borough, approved by the council’s Cabinet last week.
The strategy sets out the borough’s future housing needs, the council’s commitment to building quality and accessible homes for everyone, and to improving and strengthening neighbourhoods over the next five years.
Cabinet approved a six-week consultation on the draft strategy to capture the views of residents and stakeholders.
The strategy has been drafted with the input and insight of key stakeholders in the community and local housing providers.
There are five key objectives, with the strategy intended to support the council’s journey towards net zero carbon emissions through its housing supply; to improve the health and wellbeing of residents by addressing the importance of safe, warm and digitally and socially connected housing; to create communities; and provide supported and specialist housing.
And lastly, the Housing Strategy will support the Local Plan’s vision to create good, quality and affordable housing, broadening the housing stock, meeting local needs, providing safe and sustainable communities, and making the borough a residential destination of choice. Growth and regeneration will also bring opportunities to provide direct employment, invest into the local employment market and develop skills within the community for the future.
The council is also focused on maximising use of Homes England funding in the borough, increasing access to affordable rent and affordable home ownership. Registered housing providers submit schemes for affordable housing to Homes England and request grant funding based on the number of homes they propose to build.
Working closely with registered housing providers, the council will ensure the right properties are built that meet people’s needs with options for affordable rent and affordable home ownership.
Cllr Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, who presented the report to Cabinet and has led the development of the strategy, says: “I was very proud to bring forward our new housing strategy at Cabinet.
Emerging from this challenging time, we now have a period of opportunity to reset our expectations in relation to housing – with transformational regeneration planned for our Town Centres, a new Local Plan for the borough and clear priorities within our Borough Strategy, our Housing Strategy sets out the central role that housing will have in improving our borough.
We have developed the strategy around the theme of ‘quality and accessible homes for all’ – quality in the homes that we build, the investment that we make to existing homes and the neighbourhoods that we live in, and homes that are accessible: we should all have the opportunity to live in a home that meets our needs and aspirations.
This strategy is our statement of intent, our list of actions over the coming years, and has been coproduced with providers and partners to ensure this this document reflects the goals and aspirations across the borough. I welcome the views of residents and stakeholders on this strategy as part of our consultation.”
The consultation is open now until 24th February. To share your views, complete the brief online survey at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/JPDHXE/.
For more information visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/housingstrategy and click here to read the strategy: http://moderngov.sthelens.gov.uk/documents/s124630/Appendix%201.pdf