Council approves council housing investment plan as new modular builds are hailed a success

Written by Elle Burns

Sheffield City Council has approved a new business plan to build or acquire 3,100 new council homes by 2028, costing around £500 million in the next 5 years.

The council have already built 631 homes, most notably 4 modular homes that were created using modern methods of construction. The new homes on Knutton Crescent, Parson Cross, were part of a small-scale trial. They were engineered in a factory in Yorkshire using a light gauge steel frame, before being lifted into place on site.

Councillor Paul Wood, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety at Sheffield City Council, said: “As a small-scale trial, we’ll be learning from this project, assessing what these homes are like to manage and maintain and how we would do things differently if there are further phases.

“We look forward to asking people what they think of how these new homes look and, importantly, what it feels like for the families living in these homes.”

As well as the construction of new builds, the council have plans to make improvements on existing properties and communities based on feedback received from around 700 existing tenants and residents.

The business model being developed by the council includes plans to improve local environments with more maintenance and cleaning, to improve security and to put a new emphasis on correcting maintenance issues and completing repairs faster. The council also plans to improve the thermal comfort of homes while reducing the carbon footprint of new builds.

As a part of the pledge to spend £500 million in the next 5 years, thousands of tenants in the city will get new roofs and kitchens. The new developments are also expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the city.

The council have also been given an extra £2 million in order to address the backlog of repairs that have stacked up as a result of the pandemic.

These planned developments come against the backdrop of a new increase in rent for council homes. From 1 April there will be a 1.5% increase in the rent for council homes, garage plots and garage sites. Moreover, the community heating standing charge is set to increase by 60p per week.

Cllr Wood said: “We welcome the White Paper that sets out the standards that all tenants living in social housing should expect.

“We have a track record of engaging with tenants to make sure that they live in safe, well maintained homes with good services and we will absolutely continue to do this.”

Written by Elle Burns

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