£640,000 housing boost for Welwyn Hatfield Council's coffers

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 December 2011

Grant Shapps  MP

Grant Shapps MP

ANDREW PARSONS /CCHQ

A HOUSING scheme, which match-funds additional council tax raised on new homes, will see Welwyn Hatfield get a half-a-million pound-plus windfall.

The New Homes Bonus will lead to Welwyn Hatfield getting £640,000.

The initiative is described as “a powerful, simple and transparent incentive for housing growth” and is a key part of the housing growth focus of the Government’s national strategy which was published on November 21.

It is based on the council tax of additional homes and those brought back into use, with a premium amount for affordable homes, and paid for the following six years.

It aims to ensure that local authorities which promote and welcome growth can share in the economic benefits.

Welwyn Hatfield MP and housing minister Grant Shapps said: “Essentially this is very good news for Welwyn Hatfield because this year we’ll be paid over £640k in respect to new homes that we’ve built or brought back into use.

“Where the homes were affordable houses then we get a further bonus.

“The £640k comprises the house building from this past year, plus the second of six years of payments from year one.”

Figures show Welwyn Hatfield was rewarded for 335 homes, with 301 new homes and 34 previously empty ones.

But Cllr Kieran Thorpe, Labour leader on Welwyn Hatfield Council, said: “We’ve seen the Government slash funding for affordable housing, cut council grants, and raid vital reserves.

“Then they expect a pat on the back when announcing the dubious benefits of this latest headline grabbing scheme.”

He also said it wouldn’t stop homelessness.

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