Until now, local authorities have not been able to spend more than the amount they generate from their housing revenue accounts on building more housing.

Responding to today’s Government announcement, Councillor Jim Steinke, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety said:

“We cautiously welcome the news that we will now be able to deliver much needed housing to our communities. However, as always with this Government the devil will be in the detail and as yet we don’t know how this will operate in practice.

“We had already committed to providing 1,600 Council homes in the city by 2023/24 but now it looks like we will be able to borrow extra money to provide even more much needed housing for the people of Sheffield. We are committed to working with Government to understand how the changes will be implemented so we can get on and build the homes we need at the earliest opportunity. However, we need to say loud and clear that we need public investment funding from the Government for social housing that is given directly to councils and other associated agencies.

“We need to make sure we are building quality Council homes, the right size and type of homes, in the right places to make sure we are meeting increased demand for social rented and specialist homes in the city. That’s why it is so important to give councils the tools they need to build more truly affordable homes for social rent.”