Monday, April 10, 2017

Our Homes

My colleague Joan Griffiths, has drafted a short piece on 'Our Homes', which is over on the Edinburgh Labour website --- I'll reproduce the text below, for those interested:
For the last five years, Labour have taken the lead in housing for the City at a time when demand for housing that people can afford is at an all-time high. Nearly one third of Edinburgh households now live in expensive and insecure tenancies in the private rented sector.

Labours record of housing delivery has been good with more than 5000 households helped into new homes that they can afford, all built on brownfield sites across every neighbourhood.

We will deliver a minimum of 16,000 affordable and low cost homes for rent and sale over the next 10 years, working with our partner housing associations and co-operatives. To meet needs, we require at least two thirds to be let at 'social rent' levels. Labour will campaign vigorously for an increased grant from the Scottish Government to speed up this process.

However, building new homes is not enough on its own – Labour is committed to creating great places for people to live and prosper.  

Labour pledges to strengthen the Registration System for private landlords by setting up an inspection team to  ensure they maintain their own properties and participate fully in common repairs, and treat tenants fairly.

Labour recognises that there are still individuals and families who do not have a permanent place to call home.  In this difficult time of Welfare Reform, we have protected homelessness funding and will continue to help the most vulnerable in our communities. 

Labour is working with our partners in Homeless Support Services through the Edinburgh Homelessness Forum   to look at creative and innovative ways forward.  To ensure that we develop services that meet the needs of individuals who have been effected by homelessness we have actively involved them in sharing their stories with the forum. 

We are committed to helping more disabled and elderly tenants and owners to adapt their existing homes, and assist older and disabled home owners to move to more suitable housing should they wish to do so. 

We will purchase existing homes to help us meet the need for affordable housing, where this would not be more expensive than a new build home of the same size. 

We will work with other public sector and private land owners to develop land for affordable housing, prioritising brownfield sites, and we will always consider possible use for affordable housing when selling council owned land.

Edinburgh is continuing to increase in size, with housing need far outstripping supply, in our fast-growing city. Yet we have made a great deal of progress in the last five years and I am confident that, if the voters of Edinburgh put their trust in us in May 2017, we can build on our achievements for the next five years.

Joan Griffiths
Edinburgh Labour's Housing Spokesperson

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