Fringe Box



Letter: Where Are the Promised Affordable Houses?

Published on: 3 Feb, 2021
Updated on: 3 Feb, 2021

From Geoff Davis

Former Conservative borough councillor

I refer back to the Liberal Democratic written undertaking at the GBC election in May 2019 to create 3,000 new completed affordable residential units in Guildford Borough during this four-year term.

We are now approaching the midpoint in the term, so we should be seeing some 1,500 units. If we can know where they are, let’s all go and view.

It was Cllr Jan Harwood [Lib Dem, Merrow] who made that undertaking with colleagues, but he has been reticent to engage in discussions on the subject – embarrassed possibly?

Was the public misled?

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Responses to Letter: Where Are the Promised Affordable Houses?

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    February 4, 2021 at 6:30 am

    A bit rich of Geoff Davis to carp about the Lib Dems misleading the public. His Tory party thoroughly and continually misled the public on the borough’s housing need. They continually refused to publish the methodology used to calculate their massively inflated “housing need”.

    He and his party was rightly rewarded by being thrown out of office.

    • Fleur Robertson Reply

      February 4, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      I would like to second Jules Cranwell’s response to this letter.

      Even the so-called “affordable” houses are out of reach of the majority when one considers that affordability – in the government definition – is a house costing merely 20% less than the market value. Around here, that can mean a house can be priced at £400,000 and still meet this ludicrous criterion.

      It seems to me that the housing need is not for more expensive private housing (the requirement for which I agree is surely inflated to the benefit of developers) but for social housing that stays in public ownership, is well maintained by the council and is offered for a rent that can be afforded by the average wage earner, ie someone getting by on £25,000 full time in their twenties. They can probably get no more than a £100,000 mortgage, should they somehow be able to save a £13,000 deposit, so have no hope of buying more than a caravan around here, or of otherwise escaping the “room in a shared flat/house” scenario that offers them no privacy and almost no private space.

  2. Paul Spooner Reply

    February 4, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    To be fair to the Lib Dems their actual manifesto promise was 3,000 new social houses within 10 years, much more difficult than delivery of affordable homes, but the number of social houses seems to have dropped since May 2019 and progress appears very slow.

    Let’s hope that this was not just electioneering and there was a plan somewhere in Guildford Lib Dem party offices.

    Paul Spooner is a conservative borough councillor for Ash South & Tongham

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