A MAJOR initiative to meet wider housing needs across Wiltshire has been agreed by council leaders.

Wiltshire Council has proposed a new independent housing company be set up, which will aim to purchase around 50 homes per year spread across the county and also a development company that will develop housing on council-owned land.

The housing company will be able to provide homes for a wider range of people than those in housing need on the council’s housing register.

The model has already been used by other local authorities.

Wiltshire Council will provide £50m loan finance to the housing company with the money paid back over a number of years.

Councillor Richard Clewer, cabinet member for housing, said: “We have already made great strides in creating hundreds of affordable homes across the county. However, the private housing company provides more flexibility in offering homes to a wider range of people in the county. The housing company would help to meet this wider housing need and provide that greater scope to do more while generating a revenue return.”