Fareham Labour Party has pressed for more affordable housing in the Borough. In a submission to Fareham Council’s recent affordable housing consultation Labour said, “Given the proposals highlight the need for 1000 families who need housing, we feel the building of 3500 affordable homes over the next 17 years is totally inadequate. We question whether this plan is accounting for growth in demand over this period or even seeking to maintain a bare minimum in providing good living conditions for local families.”
We were disappointed that the council seems to be stepping away from it’s earlier commitment, made in the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document 2005, where it defined affordable as being mortgage payments which amount to no more than three times that of a households earnings.
The consultation stated that notwithstanding the 1000 families currently on the housing waiting list another 3000 families needed affordable housing. Both these figures show that there is a need for more housing than the 3500 proposed in the consultation.
Fareham Labour is also concerned that sheltered accommodation, often designed with older people in mind, is included in the Council’s definition of affordable housing. We believe that whilst the affordability of sheltered housing provision is important, that it should be placed in a separate category as it performs a special job. By including both types of housing the Council’s affordable housing category it is ‘hiding’ less provision for families than the headline figure suggests.
What we need in Fareham is enough housing to cover the many thousands of people in desperate need of good housing. These proposals fall far short of what should be happening to help local families.
Fareham Labour Party Chair, Matthew Randall said:
‘Almost 70 years after the UK adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which amongst it’s values declares in article 25 the right to housing, it is a sad fact that we still struggle to house the most vulnerable in our society.
Without a serious effort to tackle the issue of affordable housing in Fareham, how can we expect families to put down roots, our local economy to flourish, and to create a sustainable community for all in Fareham and the wider area.’