FLINTSHIRE Council is looking to deliver 730 new homes in the next three years.

The authority’s Labour-led cabinet discussed its housing strategy for delivering affordable housing and supporting tenants at its October meeting.

Presenting a report, cabinet member for housing, Shotton West Cllr Sean Bibby outlined its three priorities.

These are to address the supply of affordable housing to meet demand, having the right housing support in place to prevent vulnerable people becoming homeless, and to improve the quality of current housing stock, including making them more energy efficient.

Cllr Bibby told the cabinet that the pandemic, cost-of-living crisis and struggles to source materials had hampered progress.

“As has been forecast in last year’s report we continue to see a significant hiatus in the development of new housing across the country and county”, he said.

“This emanates from the impact of the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, rising interest rates together with wage and inflation, and delays in material availability.

“The planning strategy team have already developed a phosphates mitigation strategy in collaboration with Wrexham Council.”

Natural Resources Wales has confirmed permits have been issued for the Mold, Buckley and Hope water treatment works to treat phosphorous.

Cllr Bibby said that completion of new homes is currently below target but the council is looking to develop more than 730 new homes in the next three years.

An additional 36 homes have been provided by Flintshire Council this year including 30 units at Ffordd Hiraethog and Ffordd Pandarus in Mostyn.

READ MORE; Flintshire Council calls for homelessness funding help

Cllr Bibby added: “Unfortunately due to the weather the delivery of the units was delayed, the properties have now been completed and are in the process of being allocated to new tenants."

But Flintshire Council has developed six new homeless units, four in Park Lane, Holywell and two in Duke Street Flint, which have been completed and allocated.

Cabinet member for planning, Mold East Cllr Chris Bithell raised concern that the Welsh Housing Quality Standards set by Welsh Government could make developing council homes more costly.

He said: “We’ve talked about this before but inevitably I think this will result in a higher cost of those new properties.

“It’s very desirable we should be building houses for the future and making them carbon neutral but there’s a bill attached to that and I’m wondering to what extent that will impact on our ability to build more houses in the future.”

Cabinet also discussed the council’s updated housing need prospectus, which reflects the increased demand on the social sector and temporary accommodation.

Deputy leader, Llanfynydd Cllr Dave Hughes suggested the authority be more creative with its housing stock to meet demand, especially with its “hard to let” properties.

Chief officer for housing Vicky Clark said: “What we are doing is looking at some options particularly around budget pressures we’ve got for homelessness, and some of those options will look at how we might use some of our stock differently.

“That will then include some of those properties we currently have low demand for.”

Cllr Hughes said: “If we have a look at some of the apartments we’ve got in say Flint, where you’ve got a two-bedroom apartment that we turn the smaller bedroom into a dining room and use it as a one-bedroom apartment but maybe charge a bit extra for it rather than leaving it empty.”

Ms Clark said a breakdown could be provided to scrutiny and then cabinet next month on options for alternative use of housing stock.

The cabinet noted the updated housing strategy plan and approved the draft housing need prospectus.