‘Ambitious’ plan could see 100,000 new Cambridgeshire homes in next 20 years


- Credit: Archant

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has agreed a new housing strategy to help tackle the county’s housing needs.

The strategy has been described by the authority as “ambitious and flexible” and is designed to accelerating building rates and make homes more affordable in order to help tackle the shortage of housing across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The housing strategy will enable the combined authority to meet its ambition to build 100,000 homes and 40,000 affordable homes by 2037 and help to address the affordability of housing, particularly for key workers, first time buyers and those in low and medium paid employment.

Lack of housing, and high house prices and rents were identified as a serious threat to

The county’s future prosperity in a report issued last month by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review.

The combined authority’s strategy aims to be more innovative in using a variety of options, in addition to traditional grants to deliver the additional homes.

Schemes such as community land trusts, discounted market homes priced at £100,000 at first sale and mechanisms such as land value capture, are all considered as part of the strategy.

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Mayor James Palmer said: “The combined authority has an aspiration to deliver and additional 100,000 homes and 40,000 affordable homes over the next 20 years. That simply won’t be possible without a fresh approach and a strategy that goes beyond simply handing out taxpayers’ money in grants for a finite amount of homes.

“We have to face facts that we might not be able to go back to the Government, cap-in-hand, when the money runs out. We have to think differently.

“That’s why we need to make strategic investments in certain schemes that include an element of being able to claw back that investment to reinvest in further schemes, creating a revolving fund. An entrepreneurial approach is not about making a profit, it is about the ability to recapture any investment of taxpayers’ money to then plough back into delivering even more housing.

“Community land trusts, discounted market sale homes with prices capped at £100,000 and land value capture are all exciting ways through which we can achieve this.

“I’m a passionate advocate for home ownership, and it is simply not fair that so many hardworking people are locked out of owning their own property. There are huge swathes of working people earning too much to qualify for social housing, yet cannot hope to put a deposit down on a house and so are forced into astronomically expensive private rented homes.

“This strategy puts real focus on making home ownership more achievable.”