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Middlesbrough's Housing Delivery Vehicle takes big step forward

Middlesbrough Council’s bold plan to build homes for the first time in a generation is set to take a step forward with the creation of a wholly owned company for the project.

A business plan has been created which establishes the structure of the company, including the board, staffing and a start-up funding package of up to £10m which comprises part equity and part loan.

The first sites to see homes built by the new company are expected to be brought forward in the Gresham, Beechwood and Hemlington areas.

The authority’s Executive will be asked to approve the creation of a limited company at a Town Hall meeting next week.

Creating a housing delivery vehicle was proposed earlier this year to allow the Council to positively intervene in the housing market, and ensure the delivery of high quality affordable homes, giving the local authority greater control over development to focus on residents’ needs rather than being market driven.

Cllr Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said: “Alongside our Local Plan - which gives the Council control over housing development - forming a Wholly Owned Company is a major statement of intent on how we want Middlesbrough's housing market to work for its current and future residents.

"This is a bold, radical approach by Middlesbrough Council. Our company will be driven by people, not profit, meaning we will create high quality housing that is affordable, and suits the needs of local people.”

For the first time in decades Middlesbrough is experiencing population growth with people attracted to the growing economy

Although the growth seen to date has been hugely beneficial to the town, there is an affordability issue that is developing, highlighted in a previous council report, as the average cost of new homes in the town rises beyond the means of many residents looking to get on the housing ladder.