The bonus reflects the number of new properties built in the City.
The government says that 646 homes were built in the City between October 2014 and October 2015, .
That is the largest number of houses built for several years and reflects the City’s climb out of the recession.
Additionally, 67 empty homes were brought into use.
134 “affordable” homes were built which attracted a “premium” on the bonus.
York is receiving a New Homes Bonus of £3.6 million in the current year.
Although intended to encourage house building, the York Council has tended to use the housing bonus payments to underpin its general capital and revenue programmes. (See also NHB 2013)
We can apparently thank the Labour Party for revealing that most Council’s have not used the New Homes Bonus (see earlier story) to provide additional affordable homes.
They blame the government for making the money available to local councils.
They then go on to score an own goal by revealing that 93% of local Councils have not built a single new home using the “Bonus”.
Amongst them is the Labour controlled York Council which stands to rake in around £8 million over the next 6 years from the scheme.
The York Council Leadership resolutely refuses to buy additional homes on the open market as a quick way of supplementing Council housing stocks.
Empty home in Bradley Drive
Labour Councillors are claiming that the £2.4 million New Homes Bonus, allocated this year to the York Council, is the result of bringing long term empty properties back into use.
They claim to have “torn up” the previous Councils empty homes policy when they took office in 2011.
In reality the latest (publicly available) calculations on the Governments web site reveal that only 11 long term empty York homes were brought back into use between October 2011 and October 2012.
This is not surprising as there are very few, long term, empty residential properties in York.
Most of the Bonus was generated by the 352 additional homes built in the City. This again, by historical standards, is a relatively low figure.
Of these new homes, 152 were classified as “affordable”
The New Homes Bonus is a coalition government initiative which allows Local Authorities to retain, for a period of 6 years, part of the extra Council Tax generated when additional homes are built, commercial property converted into residential use or when long term empty homes are brought back into use.
Unlike other Authorities the York Council is not investing the New Homes Bonus in providing additional affordable homes in the City.
They have also ignored government advice that residents should be consulted on the use of the Bonus.