BERNESLAI Homes has put aside £4million to buy properties and is prepared to purchase new homes from developers to maintain its stock levels.

The company is responsible for managing homes on behalf of Barnsley Council, looking after 18,900 properties.

It also provides all the landlord services to council tenants in Barnsley.

A spokesman for Berneslai Homes said it's taking a proactive approach to maintaining stock levels by continuing with both its new build and acquisitions programmes.

Over the next 18 months it will be building around 58 new homes in Wombwell, Gilroyd, Hoyland and Worsbrough Common.

It's developing further projects which will take the new build total to around 75 homes by 2016.

Berneslai Homes is also continuing its acquisition programme which is about using its cash reserves to buy houses to rent.

A spokesperson said: "We have earmarked £4million for this programme up to 2016 which should enable us to buy around 73 homes in total.

"This year we have purchased 21 so far. Our priorities for acquisition are long-term empty homes to bring them back into use, repurchasing of former 'Right to Buy' properties, housing association properties which they no longer wish to keep and new homes from developers where they are required by planning conditions to build a number of affordable homes to rent."

She added that when deciding what to build or what to buy, it considers location, condition, price and demand from the housing register.