Berkshire

Reading council to create own housing company

Salisbury Road in Reading Image copyright Google
Image caption The authority said the property firm would help it reduce its housing costs

Plans to create a council-owned property firm in Reading to reduce the use of expensive temporary housing have been approved by councillors.

Reading Borough Council made the decision to create its own property company on Tuesday.

The Labour-led authority said it expected to buy about 500 properties over five years and rent them out.

The council said it was currently housing about 120 families in bed and breakfast accommodation.

Green group leader Rob White said the move was a "step in the right direction" to address Reading's "massive housing problem".

"It's a step in the right direction - it will make a difference," he said.

Conservative group leader Jeanette Skeats said: "We fully support it - we believe it makes perfect sense and will help those in B&B's."

The authority said the new homes gained through the property firm would be run independently from its social housing stock.

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