THE new Winchester Housing Company will create new homes for people priced out of expensive Winchester.

City councillors voted unanimously to set up the new company to manage homes at reduced rent, shared ownership and some for sale.

Cllr Kelsie Learney told Council: "This will open new opportunities to create new housing in way that we can't with traditional house build. This is a big and challenging move for this council."

It would complement and not replace the council's ownership of ordinary council houses and flats. It could focus of housing key workers and younger tenants but this is still to be decided.

Liberal Democrat councillor Paula Ferguson said: "I have spoken to two public sector employers, in health and education, a barrier to recruiting staff is the cost of housing in Winchester."

Senior Tory Stephen Godfrey raised the issue of financial risk. Cllr Learney said: "I'm comfortable with the level of risk. The market for rented housing is huge in this area. I have no concerns that these homes will not be fully let.