Monday, November 23, 2020

Green Party calls for additional social housing

social housing

It believes only a substantial investment by the council will help many families find suitable accommodation

West Berkshire Green Party is calling for an additional 1,000 new homes for social rent to be provided in the district over the next five years.

The party made its comments as part of West Berkshire Council’s new housing strategy, which is currently out for consultation.

The strategy identified that in August 2019 there were 2,300 West Berkshire households in need of social housing.

The Green Party believes only a substantial investment by the council will help many of the district’s families find suitable accommodation.

Carolyne Culver, Green group leader on West Berkshire Council, said: The Government has opened up the opportunity for councils to build new social housing and have reduced funding costs for this.

Many councils are constructing imaginative new social housing developments and we want West Berkshire to step up and grasp that opportunity, Culver said.

The Green Party says: Average house prices in West Berkshire are nearly 10 times average income, which makes buying a property unaffordable for many people. However, the district has less social housing than average, and private rents have risen by more than 20 per cent in the last five years.

The Green Party believes that providing high-quality homes for social rent is crucial to ensure families can find the homes they need at prices they can afford, it said.

The party also wants all new homes to meet much higher environmental standards, with low carbon construction and energy efficiency built in.

It adds that any new development should be properly integrated to the public transport network and support walking and cycling as alternatives to car-use.

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