£2.1 million funding secures 106 affordable homes

Ashford leads the way in building affordable homes in the county.

Not only are four out of every ten affordable homes built in the county built in the borough of Ashford, but the borough council leads the way in successfully bidding for funding to proudly continue its affordable homes building programme.

It has been announced this week by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) that the council has successfully secured over £2.1 million to deliver a further 106 homes within the housing revenue account in the next three-year period.

This announcement takes the total funding secured by Ashford Borough Council from the HCA in the last three years to just over £11million.

Obviously planning application will need to be sought for the small-scale developments round the borough and procurement processes will also be adhered to.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said:

“We welcome the announcement of new funding from the HCA. This is recognition that Ashford is known as an authority that can be relied on to deliver. It is a fantastic result for Ashford as it enables us to carry on with our proactive programme of providing affordable homes. More widely, it also supports our ambition to become self-financing as an authority in the future.”

Cllr Aline Hicks, the council’s portfolio holder for housing, said:

“We are rightly proud of our affordable homes programme. We took advantage of the option given to us by government to buy ourselves out of the housing revenue account subsidy system and have used this proactively. Indeed, we have become regarded by the Homes and Communities agency as a competent deliverer of affordable homes.”

This programme is just a part of the overall range of practical measures that the council has put in place to tackle the shortage of affordable housing. A property company has been created – A Better Choice for Property Ltd – to secure units that the council can market at affordable rents, and ABC Lettings, a management service for private landlords, enables the council to proactively discharge its homelessness duty into the private sector, something made possible by the 2011 Localism Act.

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