COUNCIL housing is set to be boosted across the county after Wiltshire Council pledged to build 1,000 more council homes over the next 10 years.

Tenants will be charged social rent, which is about half the price of market values to help people live independently who might not be able to afford it otherwise.

The first two years of the new programme will see 228 homes built at a cost of around £37.5m. The homes will include new builds built on council owned land, taking on affordable housing that has to be built by developers on new estates and re-buying ex Right to Buy properties.

This is part of the third phase of the authority’s house building programme. Phase one and two has seen plans made for 250 new councils houses to be built, including the award-winning Southview development in Trowbridge.

Cllr Richard Clewer, deputy leader of the council said: “Picking up the keys to your own home is a special moment we want more Wiltshire people to enjoy. Having a safe, secure and affordable home has been shown to deliver health benefits alongside benefits relating to accessing education and employment.

It is not yet known where the homes will be located throughout the country.

“This commitment by Wiltshire Council will ensure there are affordable homes throughout the county, so people of all ages have the opportunity to remain in their communities and contribute to the local economy.”

Saltan Ahmed and his family live in one of the new council houses. Now he rents under the affordable rent scheme and says he feels more settled than ever.

He said: “I was on a waiting list for two years before this home.

"When we became homeless, though we were given temporary accommodation in the town centre it was a two-bedroomed flat.

"We have two girls and boy so that wasn’t right. Now we are in this house we have a lot more room. We haven’t had any problems and like it here.

"I want to stay here for a long time now.”

Leader Philip Whitehead added: "We and have been building council houses for some time. For those less well off this provides a very fundamental need.

"We are very proud that we will continue building these into the future, not many authorities doing that."

Cabinet member for housing Cllr Toby Sturgis said: "I’m sure all the new homes will have the highest energy efficiency highest standards. We need to lead by example."