Providing and building a mix of homes to buy and rent at affordable prices to meet the different needs of our communities is a key priority for Guildford Borough Council. At last night’s Executive (22 January) continued investment in increasing our affordable housing stock was approved, subject to the further approval of the full Council at its budget-setting meeting on 26 February.
We are investing £74 million in building a mix of new homes for sale or affordable rent across our borough in the next four years. Key schemes underway include:
– Guildford Park Road on previous open-air car park site (160 homes, 64 for affordable rent)
– Apple Tree pub site in Park Barn (18 homes, all for affordable rent with nine fully wheelchair accessible)
– Ladymead site near the new Fire Station (12 homes, all for affordable rent)
– other smaller scale previously-developed sites (21 homes across five sites, all for affordable rent)
We own, manage and rent a wide range of 5,200 homes at affordable social housing rents for local people and we will invest £5.1 million in improvements to these homes in the next financial year.
Cllr Philip Brooker, Lead Councillor for Housing and Development Management says: “We believe that every person matters and we continue to invest in providing affordable social housing to help meet the needs of our local community. We have set an ambitious target of delivering 425 new homes by 2025. In the last four years we have completed 92 new homes, with another 24 currently under construction. We will also see the project to transform the Guildford Park Road car park site begin in earnest this year, which will deliver 160 new homes and new parking facilities. 40% of these homes will be available to those on our housing register at affordable rents when they are complete in 2022.”
Construction is well underway on the site of the former Apple Tree pub in Guildford to provide 18 new council flats, due for completion in summer 2019. Twelve more flats are being built at Ladymead for delivery early next year.
Cllr Brooker adds: “We are actively considering a number of other sites across the borough and have increased our budget for land acquisition to allow us to act quickly when a potential site for council housing becomes available.”
We are also increasing the homes provided by North Downs Housing, the Council-owned market housing landlord company. The company is intending to build new homes to complement the properties it is acquiring to let, all with a focus on keeping homes to rent available to those struggling to own a home.