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Reading Borough Council Crowned National Homebuilder of the Year

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READING Borough Council was crowned Homebuilder of the Year at the UK Housing Awards in London on Thursday. The annual awards seek to reward teams and individuals who lead the housing sector by example with their passion and commitment.

Reading Council - National Homebuilder of the Year
The Reading Borough Council Housing team, including Cllr Ellie Emberson (4th left), with awards host Sally Phillips (left) and David Cleary, Head of Housing at Lloyds Banking Group (2nd left)

The only council to make the shortlist for the Homebuilder of the Year Award (16,000 homes or less), Reading beat six other contenders for the award, including construction companies, housing associations and development partnerships.

Reading Borough Council was recognised by the judges for its ambition to build over 300 new affordable homes over four years with a strong commitment to sustainability and excellent team working. This £80m investment in home building will help reduce the housing waiting list and provide affordable rent properties to Reading’s residents, including provision for adult social care, sheltered housing, key workers and those on the housing register.

National Homebuilder of the Year Judging

After two rounds of judging which saw Reading Borough Council crowned Homebuilder of the Year, the judges’ comments were:

“Reading were clear winners for this award, with the council’s development plans ticking all boxes for the judges. Not only does it have ambitious development goals for the next five years, it is clear about how they will do this sustainably, and while engaging with and including the communities where the homes are being built. The judges were also impressed with the range of properties the council was delivering, with their projects aiming to provide much needed homes for a broad cross-section of society, from supported housing to housing for the key workers that have served us so well throughout the pandemic.”

Cllr Ellie Emberson, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Housing who was present to collect the award along with members of the Housing team, said:

“I’m immensely proud of the dedication and ethos of our Housing team to ensure our homebuilding is high quality and environmentally sustainable, with a commitment to serve the wider Reading community in helping those who need to access affordable housing such as those in adult social care, expanding families and key workers.”

The Council’s innovative use of small pockets of disused land, alongside larger projects, has recently seen tenants move in to four high quality new homes in George Street. The next homes to be completed are in a brand new development on Lyndhurst Street, with 18 families set to move in early next year.