Cotswold District Council has adopted a new strategy that will boost the provision of affordable and social rented housing for people in the Cotswolds.

This new strategy will see the council increasing its partnership work with registered providers to deliver additional social rented housing and actively encouraging carbon neutral or low carbon homes for people on low incomes.

Cllr Lisa Spivey, cabinet member for housing, says this is a big step forward for the council to deliver on its housing priorities and help increase the delivery of affordable homes for local people.

Cllr Spivey, said: “With the council’s new affordable housing delivery strategy, we are taking the lead on delivering truly affordable homes to meet the needs of the district.

"Not only will this strategy increase the delivery of social rented homes, but it will also provide support for young people through ‘rent to buy’ schemes.

“Our efforts to tackle the housing affordability crisis, climate emergency and the post-Covid economic challenges are key to ensuring that the Cotswolds remains a place where all its residents can thrive. It’s a challenge, but one that we are ready to take head-on.”

In addition to working with local housing associations to deliver rural exception sites, the council wants to promote innovative alternative methods of providing rural affordable housing such as encouraging community-led housing approaches.

This includes working with community land trusts through the council’s community-led housing enablers and identifying opportunities for the council to directly deliver rural housing, including through the use of its own land.

With the adoption of the affordable housing delivery strategy, the council will now begin investigating which council-owned sites could be developed or converted for social housing provision.

Decisions on initial sites to progress for social or affordable housing will be prepared for cabinet later this year.

Cllr Richard Morgan, leader of the Opposition Conservative Group said: "We are currently entering the third year of the Lib Dem control at Cotswold District Council and sooner or later we need to see some details about how and where these additional homes will be built and how much they will cost the Cotswold taxpayer.

"Many of the affordable homes currently being built are a legacy of previous Conservative administrations.

"We should not forget the Conservative administration regularly exceeded the council's affordable homes targets year after year.

"However it is now debatable as to whether this administration will even hit the council's core targets for affordable housing in 2022 and 2023.

"Building affordable homes can often take years of planning and negotiation for them to come to fruition, and we risk going backwards in affordable home delivery rates over the next five to ten years as a result of this current Lib Dem administration and their lack of achievement in this area."

Cotswold District’s cabinet unanimously approved the affordable housing strategy at its meeting on Monday, February 8.