Speaker’s Corner: ‘Action not words – 71 new council homes will be ready within the next year’

Margaret Griffiths, deputy leader of Dacorum Borough Council and portfolio holder for housing
Margaret Griffiths, deputy leader of Dacorum Borough Council and portfolio holder for housing

Dacorum Borough Council has been playing an exciting new role in meeting the housing needs of its residents.

The first new council homes in Dacorum for more than 25 years are nearly complete with bricks in the ground at three separate sites.

Look out for the Council’s logo and signs at London Road, Apsley, The Nokes, Galley Hill, Gadebridge, and Farm Place, Berkhamsted.

These 71 homes are all being built to high design and energy standards.

We want homes that will provide a flexible living space to help residents meet the needs of their families over time.

Through insulation and new technologies these homes will also help residents to lower their energy bills.

Demand for housing has never been so great - the local population is growing, house-building has been slow since the recession, and local housing prices have been rising.

We are dedicating resources and passion to doing something about this.

We are one of only a small number of councils building new homes and this investment is at the heart of our objective to get Dacorum on the map as somewhere to live, work and enjoy – and the rents are affordable for all!

We know how important housing is in contributing to the long-term futures of Dacorum’s residents.

Housing has a big impact on well-being, health and economic growth.

At the moment we cannot meet the needs of all those local residents who are seeking affordable housing options.

These 71 new homes will go some way to easing this pressure, providing homes for local residents.

And it won’t stop there. The next steps in our new council building programme have got the green light.

We have been active in buying areas of land for future new homes. Design plans are complete for one of these sites and in progress for four others.

Residents will see more new homes action in Tring, Apsley and Hemel Hempstead.

As a council we are very proud of this work and will deliver a total of 300 new homes across Dacorum by 2020.

We have adopted a new strategy to provide an overall vision for our development programme, stating a clear approach to taking on and delivering new sites.

This strategy is called ‘Building for the future’ and can be found at our website, dacorum.gov.uk,along with details and pictures of all the current sites.

All our residents are important to us and this strategy will ensure that we consider the manyand varying needs of our local population.

For example, we know that we need to provide for our older residents who may be seeking more manageable housing options not currently available in the borough.

I believe that good quality affordable housing has a key role to play in Dacorum’s future.

The 71 new homes are nearly ready for their first tenants, and these homes will be followed by many more.