Hastings Borough Council have approved further funding of £875,000 for the second phase of the £5.4 million Coastal Space housing project bringing the council’s total investment in the scheme to £1.2 million.
In 2013 HBC agreed to invest £1.22m in the AmicusHorizon (AH) housing acquisition and improvement scheme in Central St Leonards as part of regeneration plans for the area. HBC also agreed to loan AH £2.4m repayable over 30 years; funding is from council resources/reserves available for investment.
Known as the Coastal Space project, it is part funded through the Homes & Community Agency NAHP in conjunction AH, and will see the renovation and improvement of around 90 properties in Central St Leonards.
HBC anticipate that the first phase will see around 38 homes completed this month (March) - 13 homes short of those anticipated at the outset of the project. HBC say the reduced numbers have been down to the difficulty in acquiring whole properties in multiple ownership, ‘unrealistic value’ some vendors attach to their properties, renovation costs and the complexity of acquiring property through compulsory purchase orders.
HBC leader Jeremy Birch recently came under fire when it was revealed that the new homes would only be let to working people and that many people would be displaced, but Cllr Birch said HBC wanted a better balance of residents in the area, adding: “To say that we would be driving people out of the area is scare-mongering. There needs to be a sense of proportion.
“The tenancies will be for people who are in employment or training. We want to try and get a more settled community.”