Christine Whelan - Land where houses should already have been built
"Ely will see a massive growth in housing, once work finally gets under way. Building should have started over a year ago", said Lib Dem Christine Whelan, "but when those homes are built, will they be genuinely affordable?"
The Government have come up with a Starter Home scheme to give a 20% discount on the market value of homes. But will these meet any, of the demand for homes for everyone.
Shelter believes that, in East Cambridgeshire, Single people, families and couples will all need to be earning above the average salary to get on the housing ladder – and that is for the Starter Homes, lauded so much by the Conservative Government. The National Living Wage is proven not to be any such thing, when a couple with no children cannot afford a decent place to live if that is there only source of income.
To buy one of these starter homes you are likely to need joint incomes of over £30,000 each and more than £30,000 for your deposit.
ECDC estimates that there is a need for 3,517 affordable dwellings to be built through new build – or 31% of the expected housing growth.
But the plans approved recently across the district do not come anywhere near being able to meet that need.
We need to look deeper and further than we have looked so far. We need to look for alternative ways of providing housing. We need to ask how previous housing crises were dealt with.
Commenting on the decision of City of Ely Council to form a working party to consider setting up a CLT, Christine Whelan said "Community Land trusts cannot provide all the required housing; but they can bring a small proportion of it. Other more radical measures are needed, but at least tonight, following impassioned pleas, the City of Ely Council agreed to immediately appoint a working party to look at how CLTs could help to provide, not just affordable housing, but housing that is genuinely affordable."