Suffolk's local authorities are delighted to have been awarded funding by the Local Government Association to commission a vital, county-wide housing strategy review.
The £20,000 pot will kickstart a programme which aims to increase the number of genuinely affordable properties available to meet those in housing need.
The Housing Advisers Programme grant is designed to support councils seeking to innovate and will fund the provision of bespoke expert support to councils.
Suffolk’s successful bid was led by East Suffolk Council, which will work with Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Babergh District Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and West Suffolk Council – identifying opportunities to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
Working together as the Suffolk Housing Board, the councils have identified 900 properties available for rent, 5,000 properties marketed for sale, 1,000 long term empty homes and 6,000 second homes. And yet, despite this, there are currently a significant number of households living in unsatisfactory, unsuitable accommodation, experiencing, or at risk of homelessness.
The Suffolk Housing Board has agreed to establish a project which will agree proposals that remove barriers to accommodating people, as well as gaps in policies where accommodation solutions could be encouraged. The councils will use this opportunity to join up their approaches, exploring ideas such as resource pooling, funding empty home renovations, early engagement, legal advice and community engagement.