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New council homes on the way

PUBLISHED: 17:25 12 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:24 02 July 2010

Council leader Steve Morphew has hailed the cash from the government as a massive breakthrough in tackling the problems families have in getting housing in the city.

Council leader Steve Morphew has hailed the cash from the government as a massive breakthrough in tackling the problems families have in getting housing in the city.

The first new council homes to be built in Norwich for two decades will be constructed within the next two years, after the city council received more than £600,000 for the scheme.

The first new council homes to be built in Norwich for two decades will be constructed within the next two years, after the city council received more than £600,000 for the scheme.

Although just 11 homes will be built, council leader Steve Morphew hailed the cash from the government as a massive breakthrough in tackling the problems families have in getting housing in the city.

The money will be used to build 10 homes on council land currently occupied by garages in Bowers Avenue, Mile Cross, and a single home in Stafford Street in the Golden Triangle.

The city council, which currently has around 15,900 council homes and more than 9,000 people waiting on the housing list, had to bid for the cash and landed two of the five grants which have been made available to councils in the East of England.

Mr Morphew said: “It may only be 11 homes at the moment, but it is the first 11. The principle is that for however many years we have not been able to build our own council homes and now we can.

“This was always a principal political ambition of mine and I am delighted that it is going to happen. We want to get on site as soon as we possibly can.

“We have always worked very hard to find ways to get more affordable housing in the city and we will continue to do that, but it is fantastic that we can build proper council homes again.”

A city council spokeswoman added: “We are delighted our bid for funding has been successful. These will be the first council homes to be built by Norwich City Council for more than two decades. Following this announcement we will now be able to start looking at how best to take these sites forward.”

Norwich is one of 38 councils given government backing in the second round of grants and housing minister John Healey said: “These councils have proved ready and willing to build new homes, so I'm ready to back them.

“More affordable homes for rent are needed in the East of England and every part of the country. We're using the power of public investment to help economic growth by building the homes we need and creating jobs and skills for the future.”

Last summer the city council secured a £8m deal with the Homes and Communities Agency, which helped get the work on the war memorial kick-started and paves the way for up to 1,300 homes to be developed around the city.

The city council will provide the land for those homes, including at Bowthorpe, which will then be jointly developed, potentially generating between £60 to £80m over the next 12 years which will be pumped back into regeneration schemes.

Would you welcome new council housing in Norwich? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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