BREAKING NEWS: EDDC wins �1million grant to build new homes

EAST Devon District Council s Housing service has been successful in its bid for a social housing grant to enable it to provide new homes.

EAST Devon District Council's Housing service has been successful in its bid for a social housing grant to enable it to provide new homes. The Housing Mininster, John Healey MP, has announced an investment of over �1 million which now has to be matched by EDDC to enable 17 new council homes to be built.

The announcement follows hot on the heels of a decision by the Council's Housing service

to hold a 'Housing Summit' this coming Thursday, 17 September to look at issues affecting the delivery of affordable housing in East Devon. The summit will aim to identify potential barriers and consider innovative ways to increase the number of properties available year on year and will bring together Housing Associations, landowners, developers, representatives from the Homes and Communities Agency, the Government Office of the South West and District Councillors. The two local Members of Parliament have also been invited to attend.

Speakers include Graham Cridland from Michelmores Solicitors who specialise in commercial and property law; and John Golding, EDDC's Head of Housing and Social Inclusion. A group discussion 'The sky's the limit - blue sky thinking for new housing ideas' is aimed at stimulating ideas for increasing affordable home provision.

For the first time in 20 years, EDDC is leading the way with new council homes being built in the district. Two new bungalows for local people with disabilities are due for completion in spring 2010. Using sustainable materials wherever possible, as well as renewable energy supplies, the bungalows will be cost-effective to live in.

The Council is also working with Housing Association, Sanctuary Shaftesbury, to build twelve new affordable homes in Axminster with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency. These will meet the Code for Sustainable Homes and will be ecologically sound and economical to run.

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EDDC's Portfolio Holder for Communities, Councillor Jill Elson, who is chairing the Housing Summit said: "Provision of affordable housing is the Council's number one priority. We need to be innovative in our approach to identify more suitable social housing and I'm delighted to be leading the Summit looking at ideas to make this happen.

"The bungalows at Manstone Avenue in Sidmouth, and the homes at Bonners Glen in Axminster are a positive way forward and the Social Housing Grant from the Homes and Communities Agency will provide a much-needed boost to our plans.

"All these initiatives demonstrate our determination to meet our commitment to provide the type of homes people want. There is still a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction.