I AM writing in response to the recent article (Daily Echo, December 20) about housing in Bournemouth.

Bournemouth council has been very proactive in building new homes in Bournemouth, including affordable housing. The council was one of the first nationally to became a registered provider with the Homes and Communities Agency in 2009 so that we could start council house building again. We are one of very few councils that have been developing council homes over the last 10 years and we are held as a national exemplar.

Since 2009, we have established a specialist housing development team and built many new affordable homes for those in need. However, we all recognise that the council’s new build programme will never be enough to meet the needs of the 4,000 households that are on the housing register. Despite this, we remain committed to building within the strict borrowing limits that apply to councils.

During 2017/18, the council built 22 affordable homes, including 11 homes for rent; as well as 11 shared ownership homes in Boscombe, completed earlier this month. Part funded by developer contributions, we are aiming to increase delivery to an additional 150-200 new homes over the next four years.

The council and private developers need to build more new homes of all tenures. In addition to council housing, this has to include market housing which is affordable to first-time buyers as well as affordable housing itself. The delivery of more homes of all tenures is one of the five new priorities within our housing strategy.

Bournemouth Development Company (BDC) is a great example of how the council has been proactive on this agenda. This company was set up to help get the local construction sector going again, and continues to bring inward investment to the town, grow the local economy and deliver much-needed additional homes.

Bournemouth council is committed to doing everything possible to help meet local housing needs within the tight financial constraints under which we have to operate.


Leader of Bournemouth council,

Bournemouth Town Hall