Palmer's 'flagship' £100k homes will be council houses

£100k homes

Aerial view of the Cambridge development which was to accommodate three £100k homes under the previous mayor's flagship policy. Now they will be sold to Cambridge City Council and ease the housing waiting list. - Credit: Archant

Council tenants instead of first-time buyers will now have access to three one-bed flats in Cambridge that were originally part of former mayor James Palmer’s £100k homes policy. 

The flats were going to be sold at a discount as part of the combined authority’s £100k homes scheme. 

Now, with Mr Palmer going and a Labour mayor in place, the flats are to become council houses instead.  

They have been offered to Labour run Cambridge City Council to buy for council housing.  

£100K homes scheme was a flagship policy of the former mayor when he led the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority prior to the May elections. 

The idea was for one-bedroom homes to be discounted to £100,000, no matter their market-assessed value. The percentage discount from market value would then stay with the property if it was sold on.  

But Labour’s Dr Nik Johnson, has not shared Mr Palmer’s enthusiasm for the concept.  

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He criticised its contribution to housing need and has said it is “unlikely” any new £100k homes will be delivered. 

Cambridge City Council had already approved the purchase of seven new council homes at the Mews, Histon Road, which is being developed by Laragh Homes.  

The council housing scrutiny committee is being asked to approve the additional three flats on the former laundry and nursery site, in Histon Road, Cambridge.  

The wider development will deliver 27 new homes, 17 market properties and 10 affordable homes.  

The council originally approved £1,513,000 to purchase seven homes on the site; this will be increased to £1,978,300 for the remaining three.  

The executive councillor for housing, Labour’s Mike Todd-Jones, said he welcomes the opportunity for the council to take ownership of the properties.  

He said it would make for a “nice mix” of council and market homes on the site, and said the city’s “most acute” housing need is for one-bedroom properties. 

In March, announcing £100k homes would be delivered on the site, Laragh Homes director John Lorimer said the discounted homes were “ground-breaking”.  

Mr Palmer said prior to the election: “I always said we could build £100k homes anywhere, even right in the centre of Cambridge where property is at its most expensive.  

“With the help of Laragh Homes, we have proved it can be done.”