MORE than 50 households have been found temporary or permanent homes as part of a new £4 million Colchester Council project.

Over the last year the council has utilised Right to Buy Back legislation to purchase seven permanent homes for families on the housing register.

The authority has also purchased 16 three and two-bed properties on the open market, which will be used as temporary accommodation for those set to become homeless.

Cash to deliver the project has come from Right to Buy receipts and New Homes Bonus Funding and all the properties are being managed by Colchester Borough Homes.

Via its Homestart scheme Colchester Council has secured another 28 homes in the private rented sector by offering landlords incentives to make their properties available for those at risk of homelessness.

Colchester Council said it is also committed to delivering up to 350 new affordable homes over the next five years.

The properties will be built at developments in Creffield Road, Mill Road and St Runwald Street as well as on former garage sites.

Plans for "flatpack" roof space flats are also being investigated, more former council houses could be bought back and sheltered housing site Elfreda House is set to be demolished and rebuilt.

Adam Fox, councillor responsible for housing, said: “We have been held back for years from delivering much needed affordable housing for our residents.

"But now we are driving forward with our ambitious commitment to deliver up to 350 affordable new homes in the borough over the next five years.

“We have so far managed to provide more than 50 households, including families with children, a home and a more stable and brighter future.

“This is just the start. We are committed to delivering more good quality affordable homes our residents need and deserve which will also help continue to create a Better Colchester.”