We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Gloucester should get its share of housing funding, say Lib Dems

September 20, 2018 2:23 PM
Jeremy Hilton and housingThere are calls for Gloucester to get its fair share of a £2 billion Government fund to build more social housing.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced that housing associations can bid for a share of the funding, which runs from 2022 until 2028/29.

Now Gloucester Liberal Democrats are demanding that council bosses make sure the city gets its fair share of the funding - after it missed out on previous Government housing cash.

Only last month it emerged Gloucester did not get a penny of a previous £2 billion social housing allocation, which was announced at last year's Conservative Party conference.

The money was targeted to areas where there was a large discrepancy between the cost of renting in the open market and that offered in the social rented sector.

If, like Gloucester, the gap is under £50 a week, local authorities get nothing.

"At the beginning of 2017 there were 3,846 families in Gloucester on the housing waiting list," Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of Gloucester Lib Dems, said.

"It means that many families in Gloucester will never get the chance of a home to call their own.

"We need to build many new homes with secured social tenancies and it is absolutely vital that Gloucester gets a fair share of this new funding."

Councillor David Brown, Liberal Democrat housing spokesman at Gloucester City Council, said: "I shall be asking questions of Councillor Colin Organ, the cabinet member for planning and housing strategy, about this cash at the next meeting of city council.

"I will be seeking reassurances that Gloucester will not be missing out like last time.

"There are too many people in Gloucester who will never ever be able to call a house a home. People should not have to live in fear of receiving a couple of months' notice to vacate a property."

During her speech to the National Housing Federation, the prime minister said people who live in council houses should be made to feel proud of their homes.

Councillor Hilton added: "I welcome the language the Prime Minister used about residents who live in social housing.

"The Prime Minister is right they are not 'second-rate citizens' and should not feel marginalised or overlooked.

"But it should also be remembered that it was Margaret Thatcher who introduced the right to buy policy in the 1980s which saw thousands of local authority homes sold off and not replaced."

A Lib Dem Government would end the voluntary right to buy pilots that sell off housing association homes and the associated high value asset levy.

They would also lift the borrowing cap on local authorities and increase the borrowing capacity of housing associations so that they can build council and social housing.