Residents will be able to have their say on a new housing strategy for County Durham.
Durham County Council’s cabinet will hear the initial Principle and Priorities for the council’s new Housing Strategy for 2024 this week, which will update and replace the strategy agreed in 2019.
The Principle and Priorities paper outlines draft proposals for the strategy, including the vision that, by 2035, County Durham will be a place that has good quality homes that meet the needs of existing and future residents and that they can afford.
It also aims to deliver quality housing that supports economic growth and contributes to
improved health, and which creates and maintains sustainable, mixed, and balanced communities where people live long and independent lives.
Councillors will hear that the proposed Housing Strategy will be developed in line with the County Durham Vision and will complement existing and emerging policies and strategies, including the County Durham Plan, new Homelessness Strategy, the Climate Emergency Response Plan, and Inclusive Economic Strategy.
Cllr James Rowlandson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for resources, investment and assets, said: “The Housing Strategy is being developed to ensure we are well positioned as a council to maximise future opportunities for funding support, therefore enabling us to deliver good quality and affordable housing to enable communities to stay connected and residents to live long and independent lives.
“The Principles and Priorities Paper is the first stage in the preparation of the Housing Strategy and we are seeking views on our draft vision, principles and priorities.”
Residents will be able to give their views on the Principle and Priorities paper during an eight-week consultation running from 26 June to 18 August.
The council will also be working with relevant stakeholders, groups, and organisations to establish a strategy that meets the needs of all residents and communities.
The Housing Strategy is being developed on the following seven core principles:
• Everyone has a right to a warm, safe, and decent home
• Everyone should have access to a home that is affordable to them
• Housing is the cornerstone of communities and should support improved health, educational attainment, and the local economy
• The strategy will be for the county, not the council, and will promote local solutions underpinned by community engagement
• All new homes should be accessible, tenure neutral and provide flexible living for different stages in a person’s life, always aiming to allow people to be independent, including remaining in their home for as long as they desire
• Existing and new communities should be physically, digitally, culturally, and economically connected to support the creation of mixed and balanced communities
• The strategy will support energy efficiency and carbon reduction in existing and new housing and contribute towards the Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan
These principles will be delivered through five priorities to increase the delivery of new homes and infrastructure; ensuring everyone has access to safe and secure housing; ensuring high quality homes and landlord services; providing a range of housing for older and vulnerable people; and ensuring housing is provided in places which create great and sustainable places to live.