Sunderland wins £1.7million for building new homes

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BUILDING new homes in Sunderland will see the city scoop more than £1.7million.

Sunderland City Council will be given the money out of a multimillion pound New Homes Bonus, announced this week by Housing Minister Mark Prisk.

The cash is a reward for delivering new homes, including affordable properties, and bringing empty houses back into use.

Sunderland’s slice of the £21million set for North East local authorities will be £1,703,819, for 166 new homes, between October 2011 to October 2012, 273 empty houses revived and 101 affordable units, which includes caravan pitches.

Meanwhile, Durham will get £4,799,511 for 988 new homes, 769 empty houses being used and 273 affordable units.

During the next year, England’s 353 councils are set to share a cash payout of £661million, after delivering 142,000 new homes, including 58,000 affordable properties.

The £21million for the North East is being paid out after delivering 4,634 new homes, including 1,727 affordable properties and 1,363 empty homes brought back into use.

Councils are able to spend the money on improving local services, such as building playgrounds or bus subsidies, or even on reducing council tax.

This provisional allocation, to be paid in the 2013-14 financial year, means councils will have received £1.3billion through the New Homes Bonus scheme since its launch in April 2011.

Mark Prisk said: “The £1.3billion paid out to councils to date has meant that now local people are able to see the rewards of new developments in their area – paving the way for thousands of much-needed, locally-supported homes to be delivered across the country.”

However, the Association of North East Councils claims the bonus is nothing compared to the £275million cuts which will be made to their housing budgets by the end of the decade.

It claims the south of the country is benefitting at the expense of those in the north.

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