WEST Berkshire Council has more than £500,000 that it can spend on purchasing more affordable housing.
The council has admitted it is ‘most likely’ to miss its target of providing 1,000 affordable homes by 2020, although it insisted it is working hard to look for opportunities to buy more.
At a recent meeting, the council’s Liberal Democrat deputy leader Alan Macro asked: “How much Section 106 money for offsite affordable housing has not yet been allocated?”
The council’s portfolio holder for planning, housing and leisure, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley), replied: “There is £1,942,337 in S106 monies held for affordable housing. Seventy four per cent of the held monies have been allocated in principal, to named schemes, which leaves 26 per cent unallocated.”
Mr Macro asked: “What is being done to use that £500,000 to provide some more affordable homes to help the people and families who really need it?’’
Mrs Cole said: “We aim to accumulate Section 106 contributions into a pot for affordable housing so that when we have a significant sum of money we are then able to purchase or find more affordable housing accommodation.
“But we have had some very good success stories.
"In particular in the centre of Newbury, the Mabel Luke charity has benefited from Section 106 contributions which will make replacement housing in place of the outdated accommodation that was on the site in Mill Lane.”