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Letter: The Issues Affecting Social Housing Provision Deserve Serious Consideration

Published on: 24 Oct, 2017
Updated on: 24 Oct, 2017

From Gordon Bridger

Hon Alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

In response to: Letter: GBC Has Led the Way in Planning For the Right Type of Housing

Cllr Rooth makes some important points which merit serious consideration. We are fortunate that in Guildford we have always had a well run housing department and we have not sold off all our council housing. But central government restrictions have not allowed us to expand this sector and, at least until a few days ago, meant it was not allowable to replace losses, even though we had funds to do so.

The provision of “affordable” houses which Government allows us to provide depends upon negotiating skills of council staff, is only a partial remedy as rents are still very high at 80% and houses can eventually be purchased. Worse still it means that commercial housing has to fund subsidised housing thus creating a wider price gap between the two.

Our real economic need, which is key to our maintaining a successful economy, is “key worker” housing on which our high-tech sector and key institutions such as schools and hospital depend. The council has taken steps to solve this by setting up its own company. Where they own land, such a Bright Hill, 100% should be allocated for these needs.

One unresolved problem is how to allocate housing between different types of skills and different needs. Social housing depends on a thriving economy which we are putting at serious risk through inadequate housing facilities. Clearer policies would be helpful.

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Responses to Letter: The Issues Affecting Social Housing Provision Deserve Serious Consideration

  1. Adam Aaronson Reply

    October 24, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Both Cllr Rooth and Alderman Bridger seem to have avoided making any reference to the green belt in their letters on GBC and housing. Since the GBC draft Local Plan contains controversial proposals for housing schemes within the green belt as well as plans to inset or remove large tranches of the green belt, I wonder whether they are only addressing part of the picture?

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