£30.5m for new council homes not being spent despite housing crisis, say Greens

12 June 2018

Greens challenge Labour Council to use money to urgently build more affordable homes

The Green Group of Councillors are calling on the Labour Council to ‘get a move on’ and use all available resources to expand the supply of housing in the city, as the housing crisis continues unabated.

Questions asked by Green Housing Spokesperson David Gibson in April revealed that despite the Council borrowing money for housing, around £30.5m of resources still lie unused. [1]

Cllr Gibson is now calling for an urgent report to investigate the obstacles to using the money, asking the Council to explore what additional capacity – such as staff- will be needed to ensure the city’s supply of social housing can be expanded.

Councillor Gibson commented:

“Councils are allowed to borrow money against their ‘housing accounts’ up to a cap. Yet here in Brighton and Hove, the council aren’t spending what they have. Figures show that over £30m of borrowing capacity for housing has still not been used. Not to use the resources available is an astounding dereliction of duty given that our city is in the grip of a housing scandal which has put safe, warm, affordable housing out of reach to many.

 

“17,000 people sit on the waiting list for a council home and supply cannot meet demand – not least because over 2,000 were lost to the city through the policy of ‘Right to Buy.’ We have the second largest number of rough sleepers in the whole country and urgently need more housing. Labour shouldn’t be sitting on this pot of money when social housing is so desperately needed.”

 

The proposals from the Greens will be considered at a meeting of Housing and New Homes Committee, 13th June






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