Friday 05 June 2020

Use of New Homes Bonus to support rural affordable housing in Leicestershire

Leicestershire County Council committed to use all of its 2011/12 New Homes Bonus (£530,000) and a significant proportion of the 2012/13 NHB (£490,000) to support the building of rural affordable homes, subject to match funding from appropriate District Councils. The homes are to be available to rent or for shared ownership schemes, so that families and young people are not forced by high prices to move away. Leicestershire County Council has also used around £10,000 of its New Homes Bonus to support the work of the county’s Rural Housing Enabler.

During 2011/12 this approach to the use of NHB supported :

  • 12 affordable homes on a Rural Exception Site in Sapcote, with £332,000 earmarked from the county council and £100,000 from Blaby District Council. The opening ceremony took place in October 2012.
  • 7 affordable homes in Somerby, with £188,000 from the county council and £87,000 from Melton Borough Council.

The majority of the 2012/2013 schemes are in, or are about to be submitted to the relevant local planning authorities for planning permission. Relevant Cabinet papers are at:

September 2011  

December 2011  

April 2012  

This policy will enable a total of 60 new affordable homes to be delivered in Leicestershire: homes which would not otherwise have been built. The policy has been highlighted as good practice in Meeting local housing demand - A guide for elected members: a document jointly-produced by the HCA and LGA as an enabling tool outlining what local authorities can do to help realise the housing aspirations of their communities, and what support the HCA, along with the LGA, can offer. 

Blaby District Council has also committed a total of £150,000 of its NHB towards the Rural Exception Sites at Sapcote (£100k) and Elmesthorpe (£50k). In doing so this funding levered out additional money from the County Council’s NHB allocation as well as Recycled Capital Grant Funding which in total amounts to approximately £700k. This funding will enable the development of a total of 16 new all affordable homes in the District.

BDC has also committed a total of £100k towards bringing empty properties back into use.

EMHA are working with the Council to identify empty properties that are for sale. The housing association will purchase properties and using £50k of committed Council funds will bring them up to a decent homes standard and accommodate people from the Council’s housing register at an affordable rent.

Additionally the Council has committed a further £50k for Landlords of empty properties that are in need of essential repair. Landlords will qualify for either a grant or interest free loan on properties that are in need of essential repair, however have remained empty for over 6 months due to the owner not being able to afford to carry out the work. As part of the grant and loan agreement the Landlord will re-house families from the Councils housing register.