A leading Labour councillor in South Gloucestershire is warning the Conservative council not to be too self-congratulatory over news that it has presided over the construction of 368 affordable houses over the past year.
Councillor Martin Farmer, who leads for the Labour Group on housing issues, says:
“Labour Group welcomes the recent news that 368 new homes have been built in South Gloucestershire over the past year, as these are much needed. However, with the housing register currently standing at over 3,700 applications, this number of affordable houses is pitifully small in addressing the housing crisis we face.
In its annual report to tenants, Merlin Housing Society has promised to build 300 new homes during 2018/19 across the whole of the West of England. At this rate – without any new applicants – it will be the best part of a decade before the housing register is reduced to a reasonable level.
With average house prices at £255,000 here in South Gloucestershire – an increase of over 6% on the previous year – and a decrease in properties in the private rented sector, local families and young people are finding it increasingly difficult to find homes that they can afford to live in.
Labour councillors in South Gloucestershire have continually called on the council to support Housing Associations to acquire sites to build more homes. Whilst I welcome any new homes, the council must not be too self-congratulatory as the housing challenges far outweigh its recent achievements.”