Ipswich: New council homes to be built in town

The town is set to get its first new council houses for more than 20 years, The Evening Star can reveal today.

New funding regulations are due to come into force in April – and that will allow local authorities to use some of their rent receipts to build new homes.

At present it is not clear how many homes will be able to be built in the town, or where they are likely to be situated.

But borough councillor with responsibility for housing John Mowles hoped planning for new council homes would start early this year.

He said: “We shall be bringing a document about this to the council in January and hope that we are ready to go ahead with building as soon after April as possible.

“We don’t know how many homes we will be able to build. We are talking about more than three or four but we are not talking about a new Chantry estate!”

Some of the new homes could be built on stand-alone developments while others could be built as part of the “affordable” element of larger new projects.

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Mr Mowles said: “We have a duty to build new houses to try to boost the economy – and to provide the homes that people so badly need in the town.”

By increasing the number of council houses, it would also help to ease the pressure on the town’s housing stock.

“There is a shortage of family homes in the town – three-bedroomed houses with gardens – and that is something we could help to boost through this,” he added.

Since the early 1990s “affordable” housing schemes have required the involvement of housing associations as government rules prevented local authorities from building new homes directly.

n Do you welcome proposals to build new council houses? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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