Wednesday, 3 September 2014

East Herts. District Council fails to meet social housing target

I live in a town called Ware in East Hertfordshire. A small town with around25 thousand habitants. But there is a growing waiting list for affordable homes and social housing in particular I am just part of a number chasing fewer and fewer homes. I am registered blind having lost my sight 10 years ago I’d love my own place affordable convenient and suitable for my needs. But currently I’m stuck on a dead end waiting list with little to no chance of getting anything from the council never mind privately renting or buying which is both totally out of the question with my low paid job and not huge money behind me. I am passionate about campaigning for new housing. I feel there is a big need for greater numbers of housing and not just for the rich but also for those who are seeing their wages shrink and their savings go no where. I work part time and still live at home with my mum and brother which is ok but not how I want to live for the rest of my life. So I was intrigued to read an article in our local paper online today. In the Hertfordshire Mercury currently the only source of local news online anyhow to local residents of Ware and Hertford ran with the story about social housing today. I will republish below you can read more about this article and further excellent local pieces at: “A call has been made for East Herts Council to provide more social housing to tackle the “extensive” waiting list of people in need. Councillor John Wing asked the executive to take further action at its meeting in Wallfields, Hertford, tonight (September 2). He said: “We have an extensive waiting list for social housing in the district. “I would like to see some work being done to identify ways in which we might be able to promote the building of additional social housing in the district to go some way towards addressing the sizeable waiting list we’ve got.” The meeting had earlier heard that the council had failed to deliver its target of 200 affordable homes in the district in the 2013-14 year, with just 76 being built. This was attributed to delays in the construction of private homes, which are sometimes agreed on condition that affordable homes are included as part of the development. It was also noted that there had been delays in building on sites proposed by housing associations to accommodate affordable homes. It was anticipated that those projects with planning permission would be completed in 2014-15. Councillor Mike Carver, the executive member for strategic planning and transport, said developers were usually required to supply up to 40 per cent of social housing with private homes. He said: “The key is ensuring we get in the development the right proportionality for the district. “In the previous government we had a significant push for single dwellings for single persons. “That’s created an excess of stock in certain areas and minimisation in others. “That, we are addressing through the local plan.” Councillor Linda Haysey, the executive member for health, housing and community support, pointed out that council land had been sold to housing associations to build on for just £1. She said: “It’s the cost of the land which makes building so very expensive in this area.””

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