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Tyne and Wear authority to build first council homes in 30 years

Gateshead Council has committed to designing and building its first council homes in 30 years as part of a project to build 11,000 new homes by 2030.

After holding meetings last week, the authority has brought forward plans to build affordable housing for both sale and rent, as well as commercial space.

Initial proposals have been agreed on the first of the properties, which will see seven new homes for rent created in the Dunston area of Gateshead.

In addition, a further 14 properties – to be used as supported housing – will be built across the Winlaton and Blaydon area, with construction starting in early 2018.

Gateshead Council’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Malcolm Brain, said the authority had come to realise it could not count on the private sector to provide what was needed for the borough.

“The need for new affordable housing has been recognised as a major priority by everyone in the housing sector and I am proud and excited that Gateshead Council is stepping up to the plate and playing its part in improving our housing stock,” Brain explained.

“To commit ourselves to delivering our first new council homes in almost 30 years is an exciting step, and an important one in helping to meet our area’s demand for housing.

“Today’s decision represents an exciting new direction for the council. I am confident we have what it takes to really make a difference to people’s lives.”

The council has also commissioned its own development firm, Gateshead Trading Company, to begin design and build work on 36 new family homes, with 15% classified as affordable homes.

The announcements come following the government’s decision to pledge an additional £15.3bn to support housing schemes across the UK.

Revealed at last week’s Autumn Budget, the plans bring the total housing investment up to £44bn over the next five years – as the government attempts to commit to its promise of building 300,000 homes a year over the course of this parliament.

Top image: Duncan Andison

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