Wakefield's Housing Stock
Wakefield Council is focusing on increasing the supply of new homes across the district, to meet the growth in household numbers and housing need. This growth is essential in order to meet the demand.
The projects led by Strategic Housing are:
The Regional Growth Fund Round 1
This project provides financial support for more than 650 new homes in the south east of the district and the jobs that are created through the construction process over the next 5-6 years. Works on new homes at City Estate, Frickley, South Elmsall and Girnhill, Featherstone are expected to start in 2013. Work is also progressing in partnership with the Together Housing group to finalise the design and feasibility work on the proposed new Extra Care housing scheme and new affordable general needs houses for Gordon Place, South Elmsall as part of this project. .
The Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) allocated £8m in funding to help bring more than 600 new homes forward on sites which could not achieve viability without additional financial support due to low land values and sales prices. These funds have to be used by March 2015. Work has been underway to appoint developers for these sites, and finalise what can be achieved on each.
Highway improvement works are also being carried out to improve the access to these sites and traffic flow around them.
New homes at Fryston, Castleford
Around 150 new homes are planned for the Fryston site at Castleford, helping to deliver on the Castleford Growth Plan and improve the housing offer for residents in the area. The formal tender process for a developer for this site will begin in April 2013, and will be advertised through the Homes and Communities Agency Developer Partner Panel. It is expected that a preferred developer will be appointed by the end of the summer in 2013.
A Joint Venture housing company with Wakefield District Housing
The Council and Wakefield District Housing are working together to assess the feasibility of creating a Joint Venture Housing Company to build new homes for sale and new affordable housing. The intention for the proposed company is to add to the capacity for delivering new homes in the district by investing to generate resources through property sales and using those resources to re-invest in bringing other housing sites forward. In December 2012 the Council approved progress onto the final stage of feasibility work on the company, to be completed by June 2013.
Expanding the provision of new private rented homes
The Council is participating in work with Leeds City Region colleagues to explore the opportunities for expanding the provision of private rented homes in the district, to meet growing demand from households for this tenure. The Government has just launched its Build for Rent Fund, and the delivery landscape around this initiative is developing daily.