Labour’s dismal record on affordable housing demonstrated again

 

Robin Walker, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Worcester, has welcomed the

latest figures from Worcester City Council that show it has met its annual target for new

affordable homes three months ahead of schedule.

 

Robin has frequently spoken out on the need for affordable housing in Worcester and

campaigned to support brownfield development. Last year, he pointed out that having fought the

local elections on a platform of delivering affordable homes, the Labour-led administration which

ran Worcester City Council between 2013 and 2014 failed to meet its targets. Instead it had

presided over a 30% reduction in the number of new affordable homes in that year. Now he has

pointed out figures in the latest cabinet report for Worcester City, which show the numbers have

risen again since the Conservatives regained control.

 

The latest cabinet report to Worcester City Council shows that 81 new affordable homes have

been delivered in the first three quarters of the year 2014/15 and 31 in the last quarter of the

year 2014/15. This compares to just 76 in the year 2013/14 when Labour ran the council and an

annual target, which was missed in that year, of 80.

 

In the past, Labour administrations in Worcester have consistently delivered fewer affordable

homes than Conservative ones. Robin pointed out some years ago that the number of

affordable homes each year under the Conservatives had been much higher since they took

over control of the council in 2000, than at any time under the previous Labour administration.

Under Gordon Brown’s Labour Government the pace of housebuilding in the UK fell to its lowest

level since the 1920s. Under the Coalition Government it has recovered, enabling more new

homes to be delivered, and amongst them more affordable homes.

Robin has welcomed the Government’s commitment to continuing to invest in this sector,

backing the help to buy scheme that has helped hundreds of people in Worcestershire to own

their own home, welcoming the commitment to build hundreds of thousands of new starter

homes for first time buyers; and backing plans to liberalise the housing sector so that

Registered Social Landlords such as Fortis and Sanctuary Housing can invest more in

properties for affordable rent. He has also welcomed plans to set aside redundant public land

for new housing which could deliver as many as 300 homes in Worcester.

Robin has also been a strong supporter of the new homes bonus, which has provided a real

incentive for councils to deliver new homes and affordable homes in particular. The New Homes

Bonus has delivered more than £5 million to Worcester since it was introduced. Labour plan to

abolish this scheme, depriving local councils of a vital source of funding, and removing the

incentive to deliver new homes.

 

Commenting on the figures, Robin said:

“It is striking that Labour’s dismal record on affordable homes continued during their brief period

in control of Worcester City Council. Despite a recovering economy and a housing market that

was rallying they failed to meet their targets and delivered almost a third fewer affordable homes

than the Conservative administration in the previous year. The good news is that this failure has

already been reversed. The new Conservative-led administration in Worcester has delivered

more new affordable homes in the first nine months of the current year than Labour managed in

the whole twelve months of the previous year. It is good to hear that this includes both large

numbers of one and two bed properties and a number of larger four bed family homes.”

“In local Government, Labour have consistently failed to live up to their promises on affordable

housing and in national government their record is equally bad. The last Labour Government

presided over the collapse of British housebuilding and tried to make up for that by imposing an

unaccountable system of regional plans that would not give local people a say in where housing

should go. Instead this Government has supported real local decisions and incentivised councils

to deliver affordable housing. This approach works and it is simply daft to see Labour talking

about scrapping it. Not only would they take us back to the days when affordable homes simply

weren’t getting built, but they would also deprive our Councils of millions of pounds of funding.”

“I want to see more affordable homes delivered on brownfield sites around the city and I

welcome the developments we have recently seen in places such as the old Ronkswood

Hospital site, Gregory’s Bank, and the old Kays building. Getting empty homes into use and

delivering new homes on brownfield sites can help to meet the demand for housing, which is

very real.”

 

Notes to editors

For the full figures in Worcester City Council’s cabinet report see page 211 of the public report

here:

http://committee.cityofworcester.gov.uk/documents/g3499/Public%20reports%20pack%2017th-

Mar-2015%2019.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10

The year to date figure of 81 affordable homes delivered between April 2014 and December

2014 includes 6 one bedroom properties, 17 two bed properties, 1 three bed property and seven

four bedroom properties. It compares to last year’s figure of 76 and the figure for the same

period of last year at 70.

For the figures on the Labour administration’s failure to deliver affordable housing see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=0dbc37425acd86497e9293f3bf44

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For the figures on the success of the previous Conservative administration on affordable homes

see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=091c877ecfcecc7af611067a0fd89

716

https://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=89cc299de3e2c67de2a1e2247e6

7f104

For Robin’s support for Help to Buy see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=04f1a07d104ce4c8f7c000a28715

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For his support for redundant public sector land going to new homes see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=4a3724ccc88b1ceeb9f413fbe592

1d8f

For his backing for the New Homes Bonus & figures for its contribution to Worcester see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=75f064c852722e3260cddc33d14

3d7fa

For his support for action to improve the private rented sector see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=e2187d7d0d96575619973a61cd2

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