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District to spend £2m on housing market 'intervention'

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Great Yarmouth BC is to start buying up homes to renovate to provide better quality housing.

A council report noted: “The housing market in parts of the town of Great Yarmouth has challenges including low property values, low rental income, economically unviable guesthouses, streets in conservation areas needing uplift and lack of private investment.”

It said this had led to formerly attractive streets becoming dominated by houses in multiple occupation, often not well maintained and which “can bring an otherwise attractive area down, stalling regeneration and reducing the incentives of existing homeowners and landlords to improve their own properties”.

The report said the new selective licensing scheme for homes in multiple occupation and increased taxes on private landlords meant “some landlords are leaving the market [so] there is the potential for the council to play a role in filling that gap and making a positive intervention to improve the quality of rental property available in the town centre”.

Great Yarmouth could borrow at the low interest rates available to councils and so buy priorities on a viable basis.

The council expects to set up a new capital budget of £2m from borrowing to initially fund the project, with income from the homes ‘recycled’ into the council.

“The creation of a portfolio of housing assets will provide the council with a new independent stream of medium to longer term income,” the report said.

LGC Future Places

Homes England chief executive Nick Walkley will be among the senior figures speaking at LGC’s Future Places event next month. The event takes place in Birmingham from 22-23 May and seeks to support councils to form the relationships that can get new developments off the ground, and offer inspiration to shape their rapidly changing places to promote fairness and opportunity.

For more information visit the event website. To enquire about reserving a space please email David.Palmer@emap.com.

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