North Kesteven District Council’s ambitious programme of improving and increasing social housing has been hailed as among the best in the country.
The council was highly commended in the UK Housing Awards 2017 for Outstanding Development Programme of the Year, coming joint-second from a field of around 60 entrants and 10 shortlisted finalists on Wednesday.
North Kesteven was one of only two local authorities and the only district council in contention for the award, which attracted a record-breaking 400-plus submissions across 14 categories.
It was recognised in particular for the work carried out over the past year and in a broader sense for building 200 council houses over seven years at a pace which outstrips the numbers of homes lost through Right to Buy and places the council among the most proactive and fore-sighted local authorities in the country.
Those 200 homes have been built right across the district across a range of energy and carbon efficient methods – including straw bales in Waddington and Martin and the county’s first ultra-efficient ‘passivhauses’ in Heckington – to deliver much needed solutions to local housing need.
Many of these have won awards in their own right and significant praise from local communities and tenants.
Council chairman Coun John Money was at the awards event. Against organisations which operate on a national basis delivering large new-build programmes, he said North Kesteven has scored a ‘significant achievement’.
He said: “This is further national recognition for our house building work over a number of years and I thank all members, officers and development partners of the council who have worked together to deliver such an ambitious and wide ranging programme.
“I look forward to our continuing success as we continue to find new ways of meeting the housing needs of our district.”