Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council were delighted after a rental housing company for Torbay, Rentco, scheduled to invest £25 million in Torbay, was agreed at the Full Council meeting on the 20th July. The council-owned housing company is set to start to tackle some of the deep-seated housing problems in Torbay, such as the lack of affordable housing, and to raise standards in the private rented sector.
A delighted Cllr Steve Darling, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council, said: “Just a few weeks ago this project was dead in the water and it is only through our intervention that it has now been brought back to life by seeking common ground between the fractured Tory group. Deprivation has worsened in recent years under the Conservatives. It is initiatives like this that will start to get Torbay back on track".
He went on to say: “The Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council will be pushing for prompt action from this new initiative. We hope to achieve added value from the housing improvements we need across Torbay by working with South Devon College and others to ensure that skills and work opportunities can be enhanced by these projects”. The principal objective of RentCo will be to support the the Council in enabling the ambitious and progressive delivery of the Council's housing strategy which may include:
(i) Increasing the number of affordable homes delivered
(ii) Increasing standards in the private rented sector
(iii) Providing greater flexibility when dealing with the housing needs of local people
(iv) Increasing the level of adapted accommodation to allow more people with care and support needs to live in specialist housing
(v) Unlocking stalled sites to assist with regeneration and increase footfall in the area's town centres
(vi) Assisting with regenerating areas of deprivation
(vii) Providing a private sector leasing option for private landlords.
Whilst there is the potential for RentCo to provide revenue income for the council in the future, this is not the main objective of the policy framework. It is however important to empasise that any decisions will be cost neutral to the council over the lifetime of any home or group of homes (i.e. over a maximum of 25 years).
Contact – Steve Darling mobile:07736658666