THE FIRST council houses to be built in Warwick district since the turn of the century have been unveiled.
Warwick District Council adopted a new housing strategy last year to take advantage of new financial rules making it possible for local authorities to once again build council housing.
And following the completion of the project on the Chase Meadow estate in Warwick, councillors and officers joined residents to toast the new homes.
The landmark scheme includes six two-bedroom homes available for rent and 15 three-bedroom homes for shared ownership.
It is the first time the council has offered shared ownership – an arrangement where the occupier buys anything from a 25 per cent to 75 per cent share of their home and pays a reduced rent to the council for the share they do not own.
The new homes – built by developers Taylor Wimpey on the council’s behalf – have already been snapped up, but the authority is continuing its partnership with Waterloo Housing Group in a bid to develop more affordable housing sites across the district.
These include a development of 81 homes for the over 55’s on Tachbrook Drive in Leamington, which is due to open in the autumn.
The authority was unable to tell The Observer exactly when council homes were last built in the district – only confirming it was before the turn of the century.
But council chiefs hope the new homes will be the first of many, and will help tackle the affordable housing crisis, which is not only affecting the district, but also the whole of Britain.
There are currently just under 5,500 council homes in the district with 3,523 people on the waiting list for properties.
Speaking about the new homes, council housing spokesman Coun Peter Phillips, said: “They are a great landmark for Warwick residents and we have received some fantastic feedback from new occupants who have moved into this development.
“The new homes have added much needed affordable homes to the council stock and have been built to the latest standards in energy efficiency.”