21 February 2018

Covenant offers unique opportunity for affordable housing

A covenant included in a sale agreement nearly 20 years ago is offering an opportunity to provide much-needed new council-owned temporary accommodation.

The proposal to buy back two large terraced properties is being discussed at the Housing & New Homes Committee next month. If approved, the properties will be refurbished to provide 15 temporary accommodation flats.

The properties, sold to Orbit Housing Association in 1999, were being used as supported housing until the housing association decided to sell and approached the council.

The original sale documents had the benefit of a covenant requiring the properties to remain as affordable housing. This now gives the council the opportunity to buy the homes at a reasonable cost and increase the supply of affordable housing.

Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of the Housing and New Homes Committee, said: “There is a huge demand for housing in the city and, with the supply of low cost rented homes not keeping pace, we’re looking at every opportunity to provide much-needed new homes.

“The covenant gives us a chance to get these properties back into use as affordable housing at a good value.  We currently have over 1,600 households in emergency and temporary accommodation in the city. It’s a priority for us to develop high quality council-owned temporary accommodation to help vulnerable households and reduce the use of more expensive accommodation.”

If agreed, the proposal will go to the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee on 29 March for final approval to go ahead.

Further details of the proposals will be published in the report to the Housing & New Homes Committee on 14 March 2018.