New energy efficient homes as number of council houses increases

We have again increased the number of council homes available to residents on the housing waiting list.

New energy efficient homes at Saxon Gardens.

During 2021/22, four newly built houses in Saxon Gardens, Shoebury have been completed and are now housing local families. The two, two bedroom and two, four-bedroom homes are A-rated energy performance homes and the two four-bed homes are net zero carbon. This means they have improved insulation, efficient heating systems and solar panels, meaning the house creates more energy than it uses, offsetting the carbon footprint used for heating the home.

Adding the houses to the existing four A-rated council homes means that eight of the 29 houses in the City registered with an A rating energy performance certificate, are council houses (as of December 2021).

The four homes are in addition to an extra nine houses bought by the council through the acquisitions programme, which purchases houses on the open market, refurbishes them and lets them to people on the council’s housing register.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, cabinet member for economic recovery, regeneration and housing, said: “The new homes in Saxon Gardens and the ongoing acquisition programme forms part of the wider Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy, designed to tackle the town’s housing issues and our Southend 2050 ambition of everyone having a home that suits their needs.

“We are also committed to creating a greener future, and so it is important to build affordable homes which address the climate crisis, meet the needs of the households on the council’s housing register and reduce tenants’ energy bills wherever possible.”

The council has steadily increased its social housing supply through the acquisitions programme, with a total of 49 houses bought since 2019/2020.

The additional nine homes are a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom houses and flats spread across the City which have been bought, in part, using money from Right to Buy receipts. This is the money the council gets from selling council homes to existing tenants and which it has to use to fund further housing otherwise it must be repaid to the HM Treasury. A further nine properties are in various stages of the buying process but are expected to complete this year.

Published: 26th May 2022

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