Over 300 homes could be built by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council-owned housing company

The new Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council housing company could cost £77 million. Picture: Pixabay.

The new Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council housing company could cost £77 million. Picture: Pixabay. - Credit: Archant

Over 300 homes could be built by a new Welwyn Hatfield-owned housing company.

On Tuesday, the borough council's cabinet will approve a business plan to build 372 one and two-bedroom lets over the next five years.

The new housing company, Now Housing ltd, will help people that can pay more than social rent but are struggling to afford market prices.

A WHBC spokeswoman said: "To fund this, the council is arranging a loan agreement with Now Housing, which will be in the region of £77m in total across this time frame, although the loan will be arranged annually, depending on the company's activity for the coming year."

Surplus will then be reinvested to deliver other housing for the borough's population.

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The new homes might also see the use of a flex product system that could mean rent steadily increasing as the person can afford to pay more, and changes over time to their tenure.

It is also looking at aiming the properties at older people who are looking to downsize so it can free up properties for families.

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Executive member for housing and communities and borough councillor Nick Pace said: "We know the affordability of property is an issue for thousands of people in our borough."

But the council admits it cannot provide homes for the 2,539 households, as of May 2019, that are on the housing needs register.

The council spokeswoman said: "Sadly there are far fewer council and housing association homes available than there are people who want them.

"We're working really hard to deliver new council homes through our affordable housing programme."

Over 300 homes - with several hundred more in the pipeline - have been provided so far and the council will continue to work with private developers and housing associations to provide affordable housing.

The first 74 new Now Housing homes will be built at Chequersfield and Inspira House in Welwyn Garden City.

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