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The return of council housing

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Babergh District Council, for the first time in many years, is building its own affordable homes.

Some 15 homes being built on behalf of Babergh have been given planning permission in Glemsford plus a further 12 in Lavenham.

This move, the first in decades, comes as 2,000 people wait for housing across Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

There were 84 people registered as homeless in Babergh in 2014/15 and some of that figure has been caused by the loss of private rental.

The district has a high number of owner occupiers as opposed to those renting from a social or private landlord and in 2014/15 25 people became homeless as a result of losing a privately rented home. In 2009/10 37 people were registered as homeless and there was a peak in 2012/13 at 100.

The council’s homelessness strategy document of 2013 states as its key priorities the need to provide integrated options across the two districts in order cut down on households being made homeless.

It also suggests that the use of bed and breakfast accommodation is reviewed and the supply of accommodation for homeless people should be increased.

The homelessness prevention fund provides staffing to deal with the issue and loans to help people with rent deposits.

Cllr Jennie Jenkins, Babergh portfolio holder for housing, said: “Babergh is acutely aware of the need for more housing and that we need the right type and in the right places.

“Where possible we look to secure 35 per cent affordable housing from schemes proposed by developers to help meet housing need.

“We always look to implement affordable rents where possible and have been working with registered social landlords to help develop as many homes as possible. Babergh is also taking action to address housing shortfalls, including the new policy to bring forward homes in rural settings and by building our own new council homes - the first in decades.”

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