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Ipswich needs nearly 10,000 new homes by 2031, latest housing strategy reveals

PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:29 18 September 2017

Ravenswood housing estate, Ipswich, is one of the larger schemes developed in Ipswich over the last five years. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Ravenswood housing estate, Ipswich, is one of the larger schemes developed in Ipswich over the last five years. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Ipswich will need nearly 10,000 new homes by 2031 according to forecasted figures, as Ipswich Borough Council this week unveils its new housing plan.

The Ipswich Housing Strategy 2017-2022 report released ahead of Wednesday’s council meeting has revealed that from 2011-2031, the local plan’s target is to build 9,777 new homes.

Among properties needed in particular are quality affordable homes and those able to support older residents.

Currently the town has a population of around 135,600 people living in 60,810 homes, but a growing population in the town as a result of migration, longer life expectancy and more births means significantly more are needed over the 20 year period.

The report said: “Between 2011 and 2031 the number of households in Ipswich is forecast to grow by 7,799.”

The report said that during the recession there had been “unusually low levels” of migration and house building, which meant a more accurate figure of 9,777 new homes were needed over the same period.

To tackle the number of homes needed, the strategy plans to form a Local Authority Trading Company to help attract funding in creating new homes, bring sites where progress has stalled forward quicker, and plans to carry out an updated assessment on land available for development in Ipswich.

At least 1,000 new homes are to be built for the next decade, according to the plans.

The strategy also highlights improvements being made on existing council properties to ensure that current housing is still viable.

More than £11million is being invested in improvements this year alone.

Neil MacDonald, Ipswich Borough Council’s housing portfolio-holder, said: “Providing decent homes for our tenants to live in is one of our top priorities.

“It all costs a lot of money but we are committed to the higher Ipswich Standard and to making our housing stock the safest, most energy-efficient and comfortable homes for people to enjoy.

“By doing this we are investing in the future of Ipswich.”

Other measures include provision of wheelchair friendly homes in new council builds, and for the first time the strategy outlines a need to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping which impacts on housing need.

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