Housing planned for Addison day centre site at Maltby
RMBC’s decision to close the adult learning disability centre led to several large protests, a judicial review and 90,000-signature online petition.
But the council pressed on with moving clients away from traditional settings into activities provided by the private and voluntary sector.
Now the land at Maltby will be used for 27 houses, while the nearby Parkhill Lodge site – a care home closed down during Covid – will accommodate 16 more.
Another council house scheme approved by RMBC’s cabinet on Monday (16) is for 31 homes at Eastwood.
Twelve will be built on the old council car park at York Road, while 19 will be constructed at the former site of another closed down care home, Netherfield Court.
Meanwhile, cabinet also delegated authority for buying 100 more homes to James Clark, assistant director of housing, as RMBC looks to reduce its 6,500-household waiting list.
Since 2018, RMBC has built 366 houses for rent, 118 for shared ownership and 125 for market sale.
Deputy leader Cllr Sarah Allen said: “As a service and a council, we are determined to maintain or possibly increase the pace.
Given the significant housing need in Rotherham, the primary objective of the housing acquisition policy is to increase levels of council housing stock, particularly in area where new builds are not feasible.
RMBC leader Cllr Chris Read said: “Councils everywhere for the last 20, 30 years now have faced the challenges of Right to Buy, a financial system which disadvantages councils.
“A chunk of those will have gone into private rented ownership, some will have just dropped out of use altogether.
“The advantage is there are properties built to our specifications – but they have moved away from being accessible for people.”
The new policy would allow RMBC to be more “assertive” in bringing such homes back into use to help with the waiting list, he added.
A report to cabinet said: “The demand for council housing across the borough is high, and the level of demand is expected to rise due to the ongoing cost of living crisis, and as the housing market and economic conditions shift.
“This will bring challenges around affordability and access to safe, good quality housing at an affordable rent level, limiting the housing options for many individuals and families.”