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Council Tackles Home Crisis by Buying two 'Council Houses'

Bridget Hilton, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee (right), with the council’s housing manager, Rachael Stott (photograph taken before social distancing).
Bridget Hilton, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee (right), with the council’s housing manager, Rachael Stott (photograph taken before social distancing).
Published Thursday, 25 June 2020

A council has bought two houses in Longridge with cash from developers in a bid to tackle the town’s chronic shortage of affordable homes.

Ribble Valley Borough Council has used £221,000 in ‘commuted sum money’ to buy the terraced properties, which are available to Longridge families for an affordable rent.

Commuted sum money is a levy placed on developers in lieu of onsite affordable housing that is used to provide the properties elsewhere.

Bridget Hilton, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee, said: “Using commuted sums to purchase houses that meet a pressing local need is a positive and bold investment by the council.

“This is the borough’s first ‘council house pilot scheme’ and, if successful, will be replicated throughout the borough as and when commuted sum monies are received.

“One terraced house has been bought and is occupied, while the purchase of the second is nearing completion.

“These properties will be available to Longridge families for an affordable rent for years to come.”

The two Longridge properties will be maintained and managed by housing association Mosscare St Vincent’s, with ownership remaining with Ribble Valley Borough Council.

House prices in Ribble Valley are way above the national average and Ribble Valley Borough Council has joined forces with housing associations to tackle the borough’s chronic shortage of affordable homes.

And over 100 further houses for affordable rent, shared ownership, discount sale, rent-to-buy or specifically for the over-55s will be available throughout the borough over the coming months to people with a local connection.

To register for the remaining ‘council house’ or any affordable home in Longridge, phone the council’s housing team on 01200 425111.

 

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