This week five new council houses in Shoeburyness will be occupied by local families, due to the work done by Labour councillors in administration over the last couple of years. This will provide better quality, more affordable housing in Southend, all the homes have been built according to Communities Agency (HCA) space standards, and to Lifetime Homes specification.
Under the joint administration formed in 2014, the Southend Labour Party launched a £3 million scheme to construct between 13 and 27 council homes.
With house prices up 14% on last year, it is essential the current Conservative administration continue to implement the Labour Party’s flagship scheme in Southend.
Councillor Ian Gilbert, Leader of the Labour Group, says: "The government is making it harder at every turn for local councils to build council housing. We recognise that these new homes are a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed, yet this is still five more local families who will have decent place to live. It shows that even in a brief spell in administration we can get things done."
With Theresa May refusing to provide a clear national direction for solving the housing crisis, Councillor David Norman and colleagues within Southend Labour have worked tirelessly to guarantee Southend resident’s affordable housing. National Tory policy fails to provide more social housing, better private rental regulation or the construction of more council housing. Ultimately, this left many people unable to gain a foothold on the first rung of the property ladder.
According to data collected by the charity Shelter, Southend had in 2013 5,676 people on housing waiting lists. The Conservative administration must accept their responsibility to rapidly expand this program in order to assist these residents.