At an upcoming council meeting, councillors will debate long awaited proposals which could help tackle the pressures of affordable housing.

Hertsmere Developments Limited (HDL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the council, is a development, investment and management company that aims to develop a portfolio of housing, and commercial property to support the council’s growth and economic development agendas.

The company would receive up to £50m in taxpayers money in the form of loans, services, and land assets.

Discussions for this initiative began in February 2015 and they are finally set to come to the table on July 11.

In Hertsmere, the average price for a three bedroom terraced property is £450,000, so buying and renting a residential property is becoming out of reach for many. In light of the lack of affordable housing, HDL would enable the council to assist the community with “much needed affordable housing”.

Cllr John Graham, responsible for finance, property and economic development, said: “The creation of HDL will enable the council to tackle the pressures to supply affordable housing more effectively by developing residential and non-residential properties right here in the borough. HDL will also bring significant returns to the council, which in turn benefits all residents of Hertsmere.”

Hertsmere Labour leader Jeremy Newmark has welcomed the proposals but says that when “such large sums of money are involved” the council must be “accountable and transparent”.

Cllr Newmark said: “Despite the length of time it has taken to reach this point we hope to be able to take a supportive and constructive position on these proposals.

“However, when such significant sums of public money and assets are involved all of the potential benefits must be predicated upon proper process, accountability and transparency. It is in these areas that the current plans fall short.

“They are proposing that a controlling majority of the seats on the board of HDL all be held by Conservative councillors. They will be heavily conflicted between their duties as company directors to protect the commercial viability of HDL and their duties as councillors to act in the best interests of the council.

“It is important to the area that HDL is launched on the best possible footing. As such I have met Cllr Graham and I am pleased that this meeting led to a number of important assurances around HDL’s commitment to delivering appropriate and genuinely affordable housing at local housing authority rates.”

Cllr Newmark added that his party would wholly support the proposals if a Labour councillor was appointed to the HDL board and that Cllr Graham resigns from either his role as chairman of the board or portfolio holder at the borough council when any assets or funds are transferred to HDL.