More cheap homes to buy – new scheme launched by York Council

Shared home ownership scheme

Following on from yesterdays news about a £112,500 flat being sold in Skeldergate, there is more good news for aspiring home owners in York today.

An innovative new scheme to help more people afford a home of their own in York is being launched!

City of York Council’s new shared ownership scheme invites applicants to find their own home on the open market or choose from four high quality newly-converted apartments to buy with the council.

In York, high demand and low supply has increased house prices beyond the reach of many residents. With average house prices nine times local average wages the scheme for 65 homes is run in partnership with Homes England until early 2021, to help eligible York residents get on to the property ladder.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • have a combined household income of less that £80,000 per year
  • be first time buyers, or former home owners, or military or ex military personnel
  • be unable to afford to purchase a suitable home at market value
  • not own a share of, or own any other property (unless a shared ownership home that you wish to move from)
  • Have a minimum 5% deposit and be able to cover the cost of buying a property
  • Have secured a mortgage offer.

Eligible people can choose a property from the open housing market. This must be:

  • within the price guidelines set out in an offer letter – usually for no more than £200,000
  • within the City of York boundary area
  • not a listed building or in a listed building
  • in good mortgage-able condition
  • without any previous shared ownership grant funding attached
  • priced in line with an independent valuation.

If eligible and interested, first get a mortgage offer from a lender then apply via www.helptobuy.gov.uk – run by Yorkshire Housing. Please state on your application that you wish to buy with City of York Council and your details will be passed on to us.

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Modern 2 bed York City centre flat for £112,000?

A flat in Skeldergate is currently being advertised for sale for £112,500.

With a 10% deposit ,this could mean monthly mortgage repayments of around £530

The property is being advertised by Redmove

Discounted sale properties like this are available to some low earners.

You can see the criteria on the York Council’s web site Click 

 

York Council’s investment programme slipping into crisis

Major delays on housing modernisation, Guildhall repairs and transport improvements

Executive report 30th Aug 2018

A report to a meeting taking place on Thursday suggests reducing this year’s capital investment programme by £33 million.

The slippage includes major tenant choice housing modernisation works as the Council has failed to appoint a contractor to carry on the programme. No explanation of the programme failure is offered. The delays could affect other works including those dealing with standing water under homes and upgrades to water mains. These issues have not been publicly reported to the Councillor who has Executive responsibility for housing

The Council does still hope to make a start on controversial building schemes at Newbury Avenue (Autumn 2018) and the £22.5 million Lowfields scheme (Spring 2019).

The report claims that £748,000 “approved by the Executive in December 2016 for Lowfield sports facilities” will be spent, thus perpetuating the myth that the new football pitches being provided near Bishopthorpe are in some way linked to the Lowfields redevelopment.

There are also delays on several major transport infrastructure schemes.

Improvements to the northern by-pass (basically bigger roundabouts) will slip into 2019/20 as will a start on the new York Central access road from Water End.

Guildhall “business case” March 2017

Work on refurbishing the Guildhall will also be delayed with nearly £10 million slipping as a start on site is not now expected before summer 2019. Reopening is unlikely before 2021.

The Guildhall remains closed to the public and is not used now even for Council meetings. Even an empty Guildhall costs taxpayers about £330 a day with much if it going on Business Rates, heating, energy and security. To that should be added the cost of hiring alternative premises for Council meetings and the additional repair costs that inevitably arise when an old building is left empty for an extended period of time.

The Community Stadium work is “progressing on timetable’. However, £5.8 million in contract  payments are being slipped from 2018/19 to 2019/20.

The Council still expects to invest around £124 million during the present financial year.

Tough line taken on nuisance tenants

But Council fails to support “Good Tenants”

A tough line is being taken on council tenants whose anti-social behaviour has prompted York’s magistrates to close their homes.

The Community Safety Hub – which includes council and North Yorkshire Police officers – has been supported by local residents to help act to stop the pattern of anti-social behaviour at four York council homes.

As part of their tenancy agreement council tenants or their visitors must not act in a way which intimidates or disturbs their neighbours. To do so risks losing their tenancy.

An address at Dale Street, York has been closed up to prevent tenant Scott Berkley (aged 43 of Dale Street, York) from continuing to create nuisance. The court heard of his repeated loud shouting, swearing and verbal abuse of neighbours. Neighbours regularly reported needles discarded in the gardens and were disturbed by multiple visitors to the property every day and at all hours.

During a tenancy of less than two years, Mr Berkley was convicted three times for possession of drugs and on 14 August 2018 at York Magistrates Court he pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to a Community Rehabilitation Order for 12 months and ordered to repay the victim £200.
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Survey confirms that most residents oppose current Lowfields plans

The results of a survey undertaken in the Lowfields part of he Westfield Ward have revealed the depth of opposition to the Councils current plans for the sports pitch

4 out of 5 respondents are asking the Council to scale down their plans.

Most also want restrictions on building activity hours on the site.

 

Sellers house market in Westfield and Dringhouses

New on line site says YO24 postcode area amongst 10 “hottest” neighbourhoods in Yorkshire

The https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/propcast/ web site ranks neighbourhoods ranked on how easy it is to sell a property in the area.

The Heworth area is also regarded as “hot” as are parts of Sheffield.

The separate “Mouseprice” index records some recent sales. They include:

Address Sold price Sold date Type
18, The Gallops, YO24 3NF £226,000 22 May 2018 3 bed detached
22, Otterwood Lane, YO24 3JR £250,000 24 Apr 2018 4 bed detached
10, Minter Close, YO24 3FA £190,000 20 Apr 2018 2 bed semi-D
12, Tedder Road, YO24 3JB £257,000 29 Mar 2018 3 bed detached
149a, Askham Lane, YO24 3HH £275,000 14 May 2018 4 bed detached
13, Huntsmans Walk, YO24 3LD £217,500 03 May 2018 2 bed detached
48, Lowick, YO24 2RF £165,000 20 Apr 2018 2 bed terraced
37, St Stephens Road, YO24 3EH £198,000 02 May 2018 3 bed terraced
10, Alness Drive, YO24 2XZ £305,000 13 Apr 2018 4 bed detached
95, Stuart Road, YO24 3AJ £175,000 27 Apr 2018 3 bed terraced

There are still some bargains around. A one bedroomed flat in Gresley Court is available for £100,000 while a, chain free, two bedroomed house on Gladstone Street is available for £155,000

Revised plans submitted but York’s oldest bowling green still under threat

Developers have submitted revised plans for the development of the Acomb Bowling Green site on Front Street. The plot is located behind the Acomb Explore Library.

The revised plans can be viewed by clicking here

The main differences in the revised plan are:

  • – 10 as opposed to 11 dwellings are proposed
  • – Change in the layout
  • – Clarification of proposed ground levels
  • – Widening of vehicle access in front of the public house to facilitate deliveries

There is no evidence that the Council, as the owner of the library site and the former allotments next to Chancery Court, is engaging on the future of their parcels of land.

The new plans do appear to provide for a potential access to these areas but fall far short of the hoped for comprehensive regeneration plan.

Council officials were instructed to buy the bowling club land some 10 years ago but failed to negotiate a deal. (The purchase would have allowed the club car park to be used by the Library, although bowling activities could have continued)

Residents of Vyner House have already petitioned against the proposals which would remove not only York’s oldest bowling green, but would also see another area of green space lost from within the Acomb neighbourhood.

Any development should ideally embrace accommodation aimed at older people (amenities are on the doorstep) as well as providing much needed office space for the Library, Police and neighbourhood workers.

There were hopes that a “pocket park”could be incorporated which might include some allotment beds.

Residents can object to the current plans via the Councils planning on line web site click here The planning reference is 18/00586/FULM

Health, care and housing plans for Bootham Hospital site

Public sector partners say that they will propose a sustainable and achievable development master plan for the Bootham Hospital site.

It will “support the longer term sustainable delivery of a range of service to meet health and social care need”s.

Using monies granted by the government under the One Public Estate programme, the partnership will prepare a Site Development Plan. This will examine the constraints and opportunities of the site and will involve extensive stakeholder and public engagement.

A schedule of public consultation is being planned for this autumn to focus on the future of the 240-year-old site – one of the UK’s first mental health hospitals.

The partnership has been working on plan for a number of months and it could include:

  • the development of a residential / nursing care facility to support earlier discharge and relieve pressures on acute care
  • a new primary care / GP base, bringing together practices into a single building and provide an urgent care centre and voluntary sector led space for carers and others who need support
  • affordable housing targeted to key worker to support NHS staffing
  • an extra care facility, particularly care for those living with dementia
  • improved access to the York Teaching Hospital for pedestrians, bikes, buses, taxis and ambulances; and
  • better use of the parkland at the front of the historic hospital building for sport, play and leisure

York Council moves to buy out Arclight and Robinson Court

Arclight

The York Council is expected to announce next month that it will buy out the York Housing Associations interest in the Arclight centre for rough sleepers. The centre is now run by “Changing Lives” and may be renamed as the Union Terrace Centre.

The Council is also set to buy the Robinson Court building in Walmgate. Robinson Court specialises in providing accommodation for homeless 16 – 21 year olds. It is currently also owned by the York Housing Association and is also managed by Changing Lives.

The cost, and funding source, for these purchases will be revealed when the agenda for the August meeting of the Councils Executive is published.

Both properties form part of York’s homeless alleviation strategy.

Separately the Council has announced the purchase of another home from the open market. A property in Hessay Place will be added to the pool of homes available on a shared ownership basis.

Tenants let down by Tories

It has emerged that the Councillor with responsibility for housing, failed to make provision for existing Council tenants, seeking a transfer, when she approved a new allocations policy last week.

She had been asked to continue the existing policy where existing tenants – with a good rent and behaviour record – could “bid” for a transfer to a vacant property as it became available.

The option has been available to tenants for over 20 years and addressed the needs of these living in properties, with the “correct” number of bedrooms, but who needed to move closer to jobs, relatives or friends.

It is alsoa lifeline for those who for those who had originally been allocated a property with bad neighbours and provided light at the end of the tunnel for anyone living in a block of flats with anti social neighbours.

Councillors are being urged to “call in” the decision for further consideration.