Southampton unveils plans for hundreds of green homes

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SOUTHAMPTON City Council has approved plans to deliver hundreds of much-needed new homes across the city in an investment programme worth an estimated £144m.

Addressing housing demand in the city, the council will deliver 100% affordable living in a combination of social, affordable and shared ownership schemes, which will give Southampton residents the opportunity to also get onto the property ladder.

The council will use a mix of funding streams to pay for the homes, including borrowing, income from the Right to Buy scheme and shared ownership properties, plus grants.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture, Southampton City Council, commented on the decision: “We are in a national housing crisis, where too many people struggle to find a home that is affordable and adequate for their needs.

“That’s why Southampton City Council is investing in homes that Southampton people need, which is good news for local residents and our local economy.

“This programme will deliver the next generation of council housing, with a real focus on affordability, design and energy efficiency, because we know a quality home leads to a better quality of life.

“I look forward to working with local communities to deliver this ambitious programme.”

Potential sites for the homes have been identified and these will be disclosed as planning and design stages develop.

New council homes have already been delivered or are under construction in Millbrook, Coxford and Harefield, and the decision marks the start of the next phase in the council’s plans to:

  • Bridge the gap between the need for and provision of affordable homes in the city
  • Provide homes for Southampton’s most vulnerable residents
  • Create new jobs, apprenticeships and investment in the local construction industry
  • Give tenants access, through the Housing Revenue Account, to secure tenancies
  • Help people own their homes through the shared ownership schemes
  • Address the reduction of the council’s housing stock through Right to Buy

The homes themselves will also reflect new aspirations and homes standards (including supporting the council’s Green City Charter and meeting the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge), which are set out in a new Homes Design Manual.

The document will help steer designers and developers as they work with the council to deliver sustainable, quality and lifestyle-appropriate homes – also known as the Southampton Home.

In total, the next phase of the approved programme will deliver 726 homes and support the creation of 1,089 jobs.

Each of the individual schemes will now be developed in detail and local communities and other organisations close to the sites will have the opportunity to comment on the proposals and the Homes Design Manual.

Councillor Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council, added: “This is the boldest council home building programme in a generation.

“It will not only deliver quality, affordable and sustainable homes, but also boost our local economy.

“Our £144m programme will inject £78m into supply chains and create over 1,000 much needed jobs.

“We face some sobering economic realities, but now is the time to invest in Southampton, to rebuild and renew a city which is greener, fairer and healthier.”