Council steps up bid to form housing firm by looking at business cases - The Evesham Observer

Council steps up bid to form housing firm by looking at business cases

Joshua Godfrey 9th Oct, 2017 Updated: 9th Oct, 2017   0

COUNCIL chiefs plans to launch a local housing company are gathering pace with business cases now being explored for future developments.

As the Observer has previously reported, Wychavon District Council is set to make a return to house building for the first time since 1994.

The firm, which is yet to be given a name, would see Wychavon as the sole shareholder of the independent housing company and the main investor and will transfer council owned land over to the firm for the houses to be built on.

The housing firm would then manage the properties, which will be mainly for private rent, and Wychavon would then make a return on their investment.

The company would also be responsible for planning applications, development of the sites and managing the properties.

Council chiefs said they were forced to directly intervene in the private rental market due to the district’s above average house prices forcing many residents into renting.

Back in August Wychavon approved the spending of £50,000 on legal and financial advice to help set up the firm.

In the latest phase of the firm’s development, business cases at two council owned sites are currently being prepared. However, the company will not be incorporated until the first business case has been considered and approved by council chiefs.

More details about how the company would operate have also been revealed. It is planned that a shareholder committee made up of five members of the council would be created. They would then be able to make decisions on behalf of Wychavon to monitor the performance of the housing company.

The committee would also be able to hire and fire company directors.

At Wychavon’s Executive Board meeting earlier this month, councillors endorsed the progress made so far on the establishment of the housing company.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Richard Morris said: “I think it’s a really opportunity for Wychavon and I hope colleagues see that as well.”


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