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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Joel Moore

'Huge demand' for Nottingham council homes as 8,000 households left waiting

More than 8,000 households are waiting for a council home in Nottingham, city council bosses have revealed as they laid bare the extent of the social housing crisis. Nottingham City Council is only able to provide between 1,400 to 1,600 properties a year, and said a further 6,000 households were annually presenting as homeless.

Nottingham City Homes (NCH), one of the leading providers of affordable housing in the city, said the majority of people waiting were families, and was only able to provide a few hundred a year itself. Discussing the challenges, Toby Neal, portfolio holder for housing at the city council, said Nottingham faced some "very specific challenges".

"There are about 8,000 households on the waiting list, it's a lot, it's a great deal and we can probably provide through council housing about 1,400 to 1,600 a year so it still leaves a lot of people in need of housing," he told Nottinghamshire Live. "I don't think anyone can sit back and say 'yeah it's going great', the challenges are the money, right to buy doesn't allow for replacements.

Read more: Clifton council flats in memory of Afghanistan soldier unveiled

"So every time we sell a property we can't replace it with a property, that's an issue. The space available to building on is limited but we are looking at and continue to make use of opportunities when they present themselves. There are some other old industrial sites across the city and old buildings that need to come down."

Steve Feast, director of transition at NCH, said demand was only increasing for affordable properties. He said both financing and the city's geography were presenting the biggest obstacles.

"Unfortunately we can't provide enough council housing to meet that demand," said Mr Feast. "We'd love to provide more but it's the financing of that, and clearly that's not available at this point in time.

"There are also people within current houses that would like to move. It's a real challenge in Nottingham and it's not helped by the geographical constraints on Nottingham. It's not like places such as Manchester which has grown an awful lot. Nottingham is confined by its geography and the fact it's not got an awful lot of land that can be built on."

Earlier this year, the city council was found to have used £40m of ringfenced cash from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) on general council services. Of this total, £17.1m is understood to have been potentially misspent by NCH, which denied the claims.

Mr Feast said the number of homes NCH was able to provide per year was in "the low hundreds". He added: "The vast majority of accommodation people are looking for is family housing, two and three-bedroom houses.

"It's not an easy situation. Nottingham is not much different to any other major city, there's a lack of affordable and social housing across the country."

The city council said it was working with private landlords and developers to provide more affordable homes, and was increasing the supply of council housing. One of those schemes is Kieron Hill Court, which was unveiled in Clifton this week.

Daryl Mitchell and Vicki Holmes, parents of Kieron Hill outside the flats named in honour of their son (Nottingham Post/ Joel Moore)

The project, named after a local soldier who died in Afghanistan in 2009, will provide one-bedroom flats to 36 households. The parents of Kieron, Daryl Mitchell and Vicki Holmes, said it was a "fantastic tribute".

“When I first saw his name up there it brought a big smile to my face but also I was crying because I was emotional," said Mrs Holmes. "It's just a fantastic tribute to Kieron. He was well known. He was very proud to be a soldier.

"I’m hoping for that years after we’ve gone people will see his name and think ‘who was Kieron?’ For any bereaved parent, to keep their child’s memory alive is one of the most important things. This is just amazing."

Mr Mitchell added: “It's a massive tribute to Kieran and we're honoured to see his name up there and his name will live on long after we've gone. People will remember this brave soldier. He'd obviously be well proud because his name's there. He was a big softy but obviously he was a show-off. Who wouldn't be proud of that and all the Clifton community is well proud of it."


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