William Eichler 27 September 2018

Combined authority launches ‘ambitious’ strategy to deliver 100,000 houses

Combined authority launches ‘ambitious’ strategy to deliver 100,000 houses image

An ‘ambitious’ housing strategy to deliver up to 100,000 new homes across the Cambridge and Peterborough area has been agreed by the combined authority.

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Board yesterday signed off on what they describe as a ‘bold, innovative and ambitious’ housing strategy to deal with the shortage of homes in the area.

The authority says it is moving beyond conventional methods of housing delivery in order to build 100,000 additional homes and 40,000 affordable homes by 2037.

This will involve schemes such as Community Land Trusts (CLTs), discounted market homes priced at £100,000 at first sale and mechanisms such as Land Value Capture (LVC).

‘The Combined Authority has an aspiration to deliver and additional 100,000 homes and 40,000 affordable homes over the next 20 years. That simply won’t be possible without a fresh approach and a strategy that goes beyond simply handing out taxpayers’ money in grants for a finite amount of homes,’ said Mayor James Palmer.

‘We have to face facts that we might not be able to go back to the Government, cap-in-hand, when the money runs out. We have to think differently.

‘That’s why we need to make strategic investments in certain schemes that include an element of being able to clawback that investment to reinvest in further schemes, creating a revolving fund.’

He emphasised that an ‘entrepreneurial approach’ is not about making profit but is, instead, about recapturing any investment and putting it towards delivering more houses.

‘Community land trusts, discounted market sale homes with prices capped at £100,000 and land value capture are all exciting ways through which we can achieve this.’

‘This strategy puts real focus on making home ownership more achievable,’ he added.

Cllr Charles Roberts, deputy mayor and chair of the Combined Authority Housing Committee, said: ‘We are facing a situation in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough where many people are being forced into living further and further away from the places they work and grew up because they cannot hope to afford house prices and private rents in overheated areas.

‘This “displacement cycle” forces people to endure long commutes, causes pressure on our transport network and harms health and wellbeing generally. I endorse this housing strategy because it brings forward the innovative solutions we need to break that cycle.’

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