In another success for the Lib Dem opposition group, HDC agreed to a motion on social housing at Full Council on Wednesday, 13 October. It promises that a minimum 35% of affordable homes built under the new Local Plan will now be reserved for social rent.
In proposing the Motion, Cllr John Milne (Roffey North) highlighted the chronic shortage of social housing and a collapse in supply.
‘The UK’s leading housing charity, Shelter, argues we should be building 150,000 a year. Last year however we only managed less than 7,000 across the whole country.’
Remarkably, the Tory Cabinet Member for Housing was unable to say how exactly many homes for social rent are being built each year in Horsham. That’s even more surprising as we suspect the answer is usually ‘zero’!
Cllr Ruth Fletcher (Denne) pointed out that:
‘The draft Local Plan says it will support and encourage a proportion of social rented homes…but it has no targets or policy to help us get hold of the scarce funding to deliver even a single social rented home.’
A 35% target will place Horsham among the best practice councils in the country. Councils such as Lib Dem South Oxfordshire, who are trailblazing higher standards in both affordable housing and eco building standards.