Strategy to transform empty and unused Calderdale buildings into new, high-quality homes

Calderdale is setting out a new strategy that will see towns transformed by turning empty and unused houses and buildings into new, high-quality homes.

By Ian Hirst
Monday, 27th September 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 3:46 pm

Calderdale Council is proposing a new plan of action for housing over the next five years, to help boost the quality of homes, life and the environment.

Cabinet Members will discuss the Calderdale Housing Strategy 2021-2026 at their meeting

The plan will focus on the four themes of quality of place, quality of homes, quality of life and working together.

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Calderdale Council is looking to transform empty and unused homes

The Council said the Housing Strategy will contribute to the Council’s priorities of reducing inequalities, tackling the climate emergency and supporting the local economy through sustainable towns. It will also support the borough’s inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19.

Councillor Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, said: “To achieve the ambitions of the Vision2024 for Calderdale, we need to create houses and places where people want to live. The Housing Strategy plays a key role in this by delivering more, better quality and greener homes, and in turn, boosting the local economy and helping towards our inclusive recovery from the pandemic.

“Working with our partner organisations, we want to build on Calderdale’s inclusivity by meeting the needs of homeless people, those with street-based lifestyles, older people and disabled people. We will do this by creating a sustainable, affordable and diverse range of housing.

“The Housing Strategy also gives us an excellent opportunity to build low and zero carbon homes, and to introduce a range of green and energy efficient features as we continue to fight against climate change and protect our distinctive environment.”

Key actions in the proposed strategy include:

* Increasing access to good-quality, affordable homes for local families, which help to improve their health, wellbeing and financial resilience.

* Introducing greener and more sustainable features in new houses, which help address climate change and contribute to Calderdale’s target to be carbon neutral by 2038 (with significant progress by 2030).

* Contributing to Calderdale becoming an Age Friendly Community by supporting people to live safely and independently in their own homes, including specialist homes for older and disabled people and including more bungalows in affordable housing provision.

* Helping to end rough sleeping and reduce homelessness.

* Transforming towns by turning empty / unused houses and buildings into new, high-quality homes. The Council will take action to move forward sites where development hasn’t started or been completed, including support to owners to bring homes into use, and enforcement action where needed.

* Implementing the Local Plan from 2022, which sets a target of nearly 1000 new homes to be completed each year. The Housing Strategy aims to ensure that high-quality, sustainable homes are built by a range of developers.

* Working with a variety of partner organisations to deliver new and improved homes, including Housing Associations, developers, landowners and individual homeowners.

The proposed Calderdale Housing Strategy 2021-2026 will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting on Monday 4 October 4 from 6pm at Halifax Town Hall.

If the strategy is agreed by Cabinet Members, it will be recommended for final approval by Full Council.