A legal agreement to deliver 100 extra affordable homes at social rent levels as part of the Better Queensway regeneration will be discussed at a special cabinet meeting next week (6 October).
The agreement is between Swan Housing, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP, and follows the submission of the hybrid planning application for Better Queensway last month.
The legal agreement would provide an additional 100 genuinely affordable homes at social rent levels, taking the total number of affordable homes to be delivered through the project to 612.
The legal agreement also looks at the ways in which the additional 100 homes will be financed;
- either by outright purchase at 85% market value and ownership by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council,
- or gap funding with nomination rights, where the homes would house people from the council house waiting list but remain under the management of Swan Housing.
It is expected that in the current market it could cost between £10million for nomination rights, to £25million for the outright purchase of 100 homes. The report outlines the additional homes will be funded through the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and that the figures in the report could fluctuate depending on housing market conditions. The HRA is the council’s social housing budget which receives income through rents and service charges and is mainly used to manage, maintain and grow the council’s housing stock. It is separate to the council’s main revenue budget.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “As an administration we’ve always been clear that the Better Queensway regeneration project is about improving the quality of lives for our residents and providing everyone with a suitable home.
“There are currently 387 council-owned homes on the existing Queensway site. These additional 100 affordable homes would take the total to 612 and will be available at social rents to people on our housing waiting list, whilst the shared ownership properties will help those who need help getting on the first rung of the housing ladder.
“The additional homes are a good deal financially and it also shows our strong working relationship with Swan Housing as our partner, within Porters Place LLP. I have always been committed to re-investing any profit that may accrue to the council through this scheme back into genuinely affordable housing.
“There are many important milestones, not least the submission of the planning application and now the additional 100 homes – it’s an exciting time for the Better Queensway regeneration project.”
The hybrid planning application will be determined by the Council’s Development Control Committee in the coming months. It will establish the principle of regenerating the site and the overall masterplan, as well as the details of the highway changes. Over the lifetime of the project, Porters Place LLP will submit a number of further detailed planning applications for the various phases of development.
Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP is inviting residents, the local and wider community and stakeholders throughout Southend to pledge their support on the Better Queensway website where you can also find out more about the regeneration project.