Housing strategy success after three-year plan
Test Valley Borough Council is celebrating the successes of its housing strategy after exceeding a number of key targets over its three-year lifespan.
The council’s housing strategy sets out plans for delivering effective and efficient housing services that meet the needs of residents across the borough.
The current strategy began in 2016 and comes to an end this year as the authority draws up a new plan and assesses local priorities.
At a cabinet meeting earlier in May, councillors fed back on the success that transformational changes to the authority’s homelessness services have had. The council has developed the way it works with people to prevent and relieve homelessness, focusing on their strengths and aspirations to better understand the circumstances of specific cases, and how best the authority can help.
As part of the council’s housing strategy and its aim to provide more homes across the borough, a total of 733 new affordable homes have been delivered since 2016, exceeding the initial target of 600. The strategy has also seen the authority successfully secure government funding of more than £270,000 to help bolster local services.
A total of 32 affordable wheelchair-adapted properties have been provided across the borough, as well as 35 rural affordable homes. A further 24 affordable homes have also been built that meet the ‘lifetime homes standard’, which means they are future-proofed against mobility needs of residents over time.
Portfolio holder for housing and environmental health, councillor Phil Bundy, said: “We know that access to good quality affordable housing is absolutely vital for people in Test Valley, just as it is everywhere. We’re really proud to be able to report such a positive record of delivery.
“Housing is a key priority for the council and we are determined to deliver on our promise to ensure it stays at the top of our list.
“We work closely with developers and local housing associations to provide new housing of all types to meet a range of demands, and we are really proud of our record of providing affordable homes for local people who need them.”
As part of the housing team’s role, they will begin developing a new housing strategy during 2019/20, as well as putting together a new strategy setting out how local services will continue to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping.