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New council homes ''integral to community wealth building''

Cabinet councillors have today (8 July) welcomed the progress being made to develop fully affordable council housing in the Lewes district and authorised a new framework agreement for the supply of high quality modular homes.

With an acute shortage of housing affecting most parts of the UK, Lewes District Council has been developing a pipeline of new affordable homes, built on land acquired by the council and sites already in council ownership. There are currently 129 council properties either moving through the planning process, under construction or completed with local families living in them.

Councillor William Meyer, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: " Set against a backdrop of historical shortcomings in the delivery of genuinely affordable council housing in the district, we've been making huge efforts to give residents the perfectly reasonable hope and expectation of homes of their own. To that end the number of new homes reported today is excellent news but we still have so much more to do to address the housing crisis."

To better enable future housing delivery in the district. the council has recently undertaken a competitive procurement exercise to appoint a modular housing specialist to a framework agreement. Framework agreements speed up the process for appointing a contractor and save significant costs by not repeatedly going through a lengthy tendering process. Additionally it underpins the Co-operative Alliance's determination to work with local businesses that employ local people and utilise modern methods of construction.

Councillor Meyer added: "Sustainable and energy efficient homes that are high quality but boast lower running costs for residents, are clearly integral to our community wealth building agenda. By using our buying power locally to develop them, the benefits permeate throughout the local economy, with supply chains strengthened, businesses bolstered and employment opportunities created."