People seeking social housing in Calderdale facing 33 month wait for home

On average, a person seeking social housing will wait around 33 months before being allocated a home, councillors heard.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 6th May 2022, 7:00 am

Five representatives from social housing providers spoke to Calderdale councillors about their provision.

Steph Furness, Calderdale Council’s housing strategy and growth manager, said in all 14,000 homes were provided by 33 registered providers, of which the largest has 10,000 homes.

There are 9.707 people currently on the waiting list, with 130 of them being gold-rated – in the greatest need of housing – with 4,545 silver-rated and 5,032 bronze-rated.

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Together Housing one of Five representatives from social housing providers who spoke to Calderdale councillors

The average waiting time for a home was 33 months, said Ms Furness.

Councillor Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) said in her ward it was not unusual for her to support people through the process for two, three or four years and a lot more needed to be done to get more provision.

“I’m a great believer in trying to get housing on derelict brownfield sites; we have got – I know it is difficult to stack up financially but there are still sites that could be made available,” she said.

Councillor Lynn said it was hoped that by packaging a number of such sites together it might be possible to unlock funding which would make them viable.

Ms Furness said it was difficult to get development going – the hundreds of homes being developed in partnership between Together Housing and the council had taken perseverance.

The council’s Place Scrutiny Committee heard what housing stock was available from the five providers attending the meeting.

Together Housing has 38,000 properties across the North and is the largest social housing landlord in Calderdale.

Together, which operates from offices in Bull Green, Halifax, has around 10,000 general needs properties in Calderdale, mainly focussed in Mixenden, Ovenden, Illingworth, Elland and central Halifax, but including stock throughout the borough.

In addition it has just under 150 “extra care” places in a number of schemes helping people with specific needs around Calderdale.

Calder Valley Community Land Trust has six affordable homes comprising four bungalows at Walsden for over-65s with connections to Todmorden, and two houses that bookend Fielden Hall in Todmorden, and is soon to submit a planning application for 20 affordable homes at High Street in Hebden Bridge, a £4.5 million scheme.

Additionally, the council has authorised leasehold ownership with the trust of three empty properties at Crown Street, Hebden Bridge, and at Jerusalem Farm, Luddenden, with plans to split one of the properties into two flats, with retrofitting and modernisation.

The trust is also the the project sponsor for a £3.2m Enterprise Centre in Todmorden, which due to its eligibility for Homes England funding will include affordable homes on the second floor, it says.

Yorkshire Housing operates county-wide and has 588 homes in Calderdale, with another 267 in development.

Last June Yorkshire Housing completed 46 new homes at Claremount Road, Boothtown, for affordable rent and shared ownership and its largest development started at Rastrick last October – a mixed tenure 267-home site, it says.

Horton Housing has 70 owned and 19 leased properties in Calderdale as well as hundreds of others outside the area, many in Bradford.

The group provides supported housing, visiting support, training and outreach services to people across Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, and North Yorkshire, including services for young people, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, refugees, travellers, people with a history of offending, as well as people experiencing homelessness, rough sleeping, mental or physical ill-health, substance misuse or have multiple disadvantages.

Manchester-based Mosscare St Vincent’s has 9,000 homes across Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire, including 130 general needs properties in Calderdale, a mix of two and three-bedroomed houses and two-bedroom apartments in Soputhowram, Todmorden, Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse, Hebden Bridge and Halifax.

Mosscare St Vincent’s also has 11 Supported schemes in Calderdale, a combination of shared houses and self-contained flats, for people with learning disabilities.

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