Tuesday, 22 November 2011
RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT'S HOUSING 'STRATEGY
From Councillor Iris Johnston Shadow member for Housing TDC (Tel 299207).
'I always view any new 'initiative' from Mr Grant Shapps with caution. This is the 127 announcement on Housing since the Conservatives came to power and as usual I will want to discuss with Senior Council Housing officers to check if there is anything of real benefit to Thanet.
Already I note a rehashing of old information including claiming credit for the last Labour Government's help for the building industry. The assistance for projects that were stalling due to the Global financial crises was announced before the last General election and many developers were able to avail of loans to see them through and finish house building.
There has been an increase of 10% in homelessness since the last General election and as someone who ran a Helpline on behalf of the Labour Party in the 1980's I fear the massive and ill considered cuts and attacks on people who try to stay employed and save their homes from repossession will bring us back to those dreadful times.
We already have evidence locally of how the Labour Government supported first time buyers and also enabled Housing associations to build new homes. The Decent Homes standards and Renewal funding combined with legislation to tackle neglectful landlords were already in place.
Thanet District Council also benefitted from holding much of its council tenants rents and at the same time making a low contribution to the national pot. Under Localism this may change and not to our advantage.
It is all well and good to encourage people to buy their Council Homes but those homes are then lost for ever to those desperately needing social housing.
This 'announcement' on the Right to Buy of course contradicts a previous 'announcement' which threatened council tenants who bettered their situation financially with eviction after two years'.
I will be speaking to an officer today once she has read the fine print to see if there is actually anything of any use to Thanet residents in these latest announcements'
Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office, 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 2RW.