New council homes for Portsmouth and Leigh Park

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New council homes will be built in Portsmouth and Leigh Park to help meet the needs of struggling families.

Portsmouth City Council will construct 170 more houses and flats over the next two years.

Council leaders say it is the most social housing to be built in a generation.

And there will be a second wave of house building on land owned by the city council in Leigh Park. The majority will have three-bedrooms and the rest will be split into one and two-bedroom properties. The move was approved at a full council meeting.

Councillor Steven Wylie, cabinet member for housing, said the £18m project was essential because more than 1,000 families are on the Portsmouth waiting list for three-bed room homes.

‘We have got over 1,087 people waiting just for three bedroom family homes,’ he said.

‘This city is crying out for more homes.’

The move will also free up spaces in smaller properties because large families squeezed into two-bed homes will be given the chance to move into new ones.

Cllr Wylie said: ‘This is only the start. It’s great news that it was voted for.’

Homes will be built in; King William Street and St George’s Square, in Portsea, Wellington Street and on the sites of Southsea Community Centre and Brook Club, in Southsea, on the site of Arthur Pope House, in Somers Town and the former Doyle Avenue Health Centre, North End.

The council will also buy Queen Vic Hostel and temporary accommodation in Grove Road North, Southsea.

Afterwards the council wants to build another 400 homes in the next 15 years, which will include those in Leigh Park. Cllr Wylie added: ‘We will be developing up in that area but it is a different planning authority and we need to have more conversations with them.

‘There are no firm plans yet but we have land there and we will be using it.’

Leigh Park Councillor Mike Fairhurst said: ‘We want more social housing, but what we don’t want to see is Portsmouth City Council housing because that’s only available to people who already live in city council housing in Havant or Portsmouth. It doesn’t solve Havant’s housing problem.’