A housing association has defended its policy of selling off homes as efforts are stepped up to boost affordable housing in north Norfolk.

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Victory Housing Trust says that since it was launched in February 2006, it has only sold 18 of its 5,000 stock on the open market, with all proceeds ploughed back into providing better-quality affordable homes.

Victory’s policy has come under fire from Liberal Democrat councillors representing North Walsham where Victory is currently considering whether to put 20 Fairview Road up for sale.

The house has three bedrooms and North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) figures show that 157 people on the housing register have expressed an interest in a three-bedroomed home in North Walsham.

Peter Moore told NNDC’s cabinet that while Victory continued to sell off homes, any district council efforts on housing were being countered by a “drain open at the other end.”

NNDC initiatives include launching a new policy aimed at bringing more than 800 long term empty homes back into occupation, and changes to the housing allocation rules to give higher priority to local people.

A Victory spokesman told the News that any empty home was assessed to see whether it was still suitable and energy efficient. Those that were not, and which would be too costly to bring up to standard, might be put up for sale.

The spokesman added that Victory had built far more new homes than it had sold. Since February 2006, 319 homes had been built, 137 were in progress and a further 122 were in the pipeline.

But Mr Moore’s fellow North Walsham district councillors, Vivienne Uprichard and Eric Seward, are also opposed to Victory’s policy.

Mr Seward said none of the 16 Victory homes nearly finished in Hall Lane, North Walsham, nor any of the 15 planned for the former Mundesley Road Howard’s coachworks site would have three bedrooms.

“If they are not going to build new three bedroomed-homes, why are they selling them off?” he asked.

He and Mrs Uprichard were dealing with cases of acute housing need where families were suffering from severe overcrowding or facing eviction.

7 comments

  • Remind me again how much Peter Moore's party in government cut from Victory's housing budgets?

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Property sales are helping to meet the shortfall from a reduction of over 60% in government grant funding for new development. Victory has committed to build 180 new properties, funded in part by the sale of 100 existing properties - a net increase of 80 homes. Without the property sales, North Norfolk would lose £3m of government grant funding and miss out on a net increase in 80 properties.

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    John Archibald

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • It has taken the Lib Dems 6 years to decide to oppose this scheme.....

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    Callum Ringer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • It is because of the Lib Dems that Victory are having to do this! They are having to generate funding to build new housing stock that is adaptable for the future. Neither the Tories or Lib Dems are prepared to use the money collected from second homes or the sale of these old stock to put towards new social housing, it's rank hypocrisy for them to start moaning now.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • .....and wasn't it the Lib Dems who, when in charge of nndc sold off the council stock to victory housing against a backdrop of opposition whose reasons included selling the houses on the open market?

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    Callum Ringer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Victory has built 54 properties in North Walsham and is currently building 67 – a total of 121 new properties. Of the 67 currently on site, five are 3-bed houses and three are 4-bed houses.

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    John Archibald

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • And in 2006 when this policy was introduced by victory, the lib Dems as ruling party on nndc would have had board members. This is a pretty ridiculous story and typically lib dem... Proving they can both agree to and oppose something at the same time

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    Callum Ringer

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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