Plans for housing crisis

HOUSING CRISIS Kirklees Labour councillors said more homes were needed. (d541f437)
HOUSING CRISIS Kirklees Labour councillors said more homes were needed. (d541f437)
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A growing housing crisis should be dealt with by building more homes and making better use of public land according to a motion by Kirklees Labour councillors.

Kirklees Council will debate a motion next week on how to address the lack of good quality, afforable homes in the area.

The proposals would include a target to build up 1,200 homes in the next four years, which would include 400 council houses or affordable homes.

Kirklees Council leader David Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) said: “We are responding to what we think is right and to what the Government says we need to do.”

He added that money for housing was spent separately to other council funds.

The motion, put forward by Councillors David Sheard, Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East), Jean Calvert (Lab, Ashbrow), Graham Turner (Lab, Denby Dale) and Steve Hall (Lab, Heckmondwike) said too many people do not have suitable places to live.

They said demand was growing and that private rents were rising. while first-time buyers found it difficult to get onto the property ladder due to prices increasing ahead of wages.

Their proposals included speeding up an initiative for the council to purchase former right-to-buy properties to bring empty homes back into use.

They said Kirklees wanted to work with developers to use council-owned land for new homes.

And the motion stated that private sector homes would be built with a view to create jobs and generate income for the local people.

The councillors said they wanted to deal with the problem of fuel poverty and work with landlords in the private sector to improve standards.

But the motion stated: “These proposals will not in themselves solve the housing crisis in Kirklees.

“The national housing policies and investment priorities of all political parties will need to significantly change for that to happen. This council has a duty to do all it can within the resources and powers available now to make a start on making a difference.

“Further opportunities will arise to meet some of these needs and we need an open mind to do things differently if that helps our citizens have better places to live in the future”

The council will meet at 6pm on Wednesday November 5, at Huddersfield Town Hall.