Discounts of up to £78,600 are encouraging the ongoing sale of Council house – and the stock of homes in St Albans District has now reduced to under 5,000. Speaking at the meeting of the Full Council on 21 February, Labour’s Roma Mills pointed out that The District Council was not able to replace the homes that have been sold – and we now have over 100 families in temporary accommodation with many others living in overcrowded or unsuitable properties. Roma quoted the report from Inside Housing which found that in 72 councils 12,000 council houses had been sold since 2014 but only 4,309 houses have been built in the same time.
Trying to replace lost Council housing by negotiating a percentage of affordable housing on residential development sites is not working – the Council has only managed to secure 6 units of social rented housing via the planning route since 2015.
‘We need to be able to build Council houses again if we are going to meet the needs of local people on low incomes’ said Roma. The Local Government Assocation has already faced up to this and has been lobbying Government to allow Councils to borrow to build and to keep 100% of Council house sales to invest in new local homes.’
The Labour Motion was passed without objection and the Council will now be writing to the two local MPs to lobby them to put pressure on Government ministers.
For information contact Roma Mills, 07949825026.
Wording of the Resolution:
This Council supports the Local Government’s call for the Government to:
- allow Councils to set Right to Buy discounts locally and keep 100% of sale receipts to replace local homes,
- scrap the cap on the amount Councils can borrow to invest in new and existing homes,
To this end, this Council will write to the Members of Parliament for St Albans and the Hitchin and Harpenden constituencies to seek their support in securing these powers.
We need more homes, in the right place and at the right place. That’s the simple message in this short video from the National Housing Federation.
- In London the private rented sector has grown by more than 75% in the last decade and there are now more people living in private rented accommodation than there are in social housing.
- The 800,000 private tenants in London pay their landlords over £13 billion every year and rents are rising far faster than inflation or pay – up 9% in 2012 alone.
- The average rent in London is now £1,196 per month – more than the minimum wage (£990) and almost as much as the recommended “living wage” (£1,368).
We need homes for working people and those in need and a housing policy that works for ordinary people, not just the rich.
Take just a few minutes to watch the video, visit the Yes to Homes website and tell your local council that you want them to say yes to homes.
The St Albans Labour Party has launched a campaign to increase the number of affordable homes built in the District. The campaign seeks to commit the council to return to the target, first set in 1994, of building at least 200 homes every year. There are a record 1,800 families on the waiting list for Council housing this year – a number that grew by 300 in 2o10.
The response of the Conservative leadership of the District Council to the growing crisis has been dangerously inadequate. Instead of working harder to help ordinary families in need of decent housing, they have made the decision to reduce the building target into just 100 affordable houses per year as part of their new Local Plan. It is a decision that threatens to blight the lives of families and our community for years unless they can be persuaded to change their mind.