18th May, 2021

Bromsgrove Labour leader calls on council to build its own homes

BROMSGROVE Labour Leader Coun Michael Thompson is calling on the district council to start building its own council housing.

Coun Thompson has put forward a motion for Wednesday’s full council meeting, asking the authority to borrow from the Government so it can build properties and address the district’s affordable homes shortage.

It would also provide a source of income for the district council.

“I want the council to build homes alongside associations, like BDHT and Bromford.

“We would not be in competition with them but adding to what they provide.”

In the autumn budget the Government raised the borrowing cap for councils in areas of high affordability, like Bromsgrove, by £1billion to help achieve its target of 300,000 new homes per year.

Private house-builders have consistently provided 150,000-a-year so, Coun Thompson said, the target was unlikely to be met without a significant increase in supply from local authorities.

“Bromsgrove residents deserve the opportunity to live in good quality and affordable homes in the district.

“The only way for Bromsgrove District Council to meet its housing responsibility to its residents is if it starts building council houses again,” added Coun Thompson.

He will ask for a cross-party committee, including the leader and cabinet member for housing, to be set-up to produce a policy paper preparing the council for the housing market so it can build council houses on its own or in partnership or with social housing associations.

He will also ask the authority to write to the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Housing to call for the Local Authority Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap to be removed.

• WHAT do you think? Should Bromsgrove build its own council housing? Email your views to editor@bromsgrovestandard.co.uk or write to the address on page eight.

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