Affordable housing is ‘top priority’ for local authority

Ryedale House..Picture Richard Ponter 130238c

Ryedale House..Picture Richard Ponter 130238c

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Providing more affordable housing in Ryedale is the top priority of the district council over the next five years.

A council report to the authority’s policy and resources committee tomorrow says that social housing is top of the list with more than 300 needed by next year alone.

Developments already underway or with planning permission are expected to provide a further 200 homes, says Clare Slater, Head of Corporate Services, in her report, Future Strategic Priorities.

However, the Local Enterprise Agency (LEP) for North Yorkshire has given “a stretch target” of 250 new affordable homes for Ryedale each year for the next five years, and to maintain a five year land supply in line with government policy.

Ms Slater said the most effective way of providing them will be through market-led housing schemes and adds: “In order to maintain new housing supply, permissions need to be granted to developers for major housing schemes.”

She adds that the Government’s New Homes Bonus scheme should help provide more new homes and reduce the number of empty properties.

The authority needs to “investigate innovative ways of building and ensuring affordable homes in Ryedale.”

The need for affordable homes has become an increasing problem in Ryedale because of the low incomes of residents and the soaring prices of rural properties because houses in the private sector could also help reach housing targets.

Providing accommodation for younger people is also a priority, councillors will be told.

Ryedale District Council has four other priorities, said Ms Slater, including helping attracting new business investment and boost the economy, and to create more better paid jobs through its Economic Action Plan, winning Local Growth Fund money and LEP support. Also on the priority list is alleviating the flooding problems which have historically hit Malton, Norton, Pickering and villages in recent years, provision of urgent medical care at Malton Hospital, and working with North Yorkshire County Council, other district authorities in the county and agencies for Ryedale’s 55,000 residents in what is recognised as the country’s biggest district area, geographically.

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