Labour’s leading councillors on Cambridge City Council have responded to the government’s Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’.
Councillor Kevin Price, Deputy Leader and Labour's candidate for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayoral elections, said: "It's hard to see that the White Paper was worth the wait and it will be a huge disappointment for those who need to rent a home and those who want to buy a home. The government acknowledges in the White Paper that the housing market is broken but then does nothing to fix it and address the housing affordability crisis which impacts so greatly on Cambridge residents. When the definition of someone who can access 'affordable' housing has to include an annual income of up to £80,000 a year (£90,000 in London) but the average income in Cambridge is only £31,000 a year, this White Paper will give no hope to most people that their housing situation will ever change."
Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council, added: "Cambridge is building homes at a faster rate than almost any other council and yet once again the government has chosen to blame councils for what is actually the failure of national housing policy and its almost total reliance on the private sector to deliver homes for market sale and for rent. We were looking to this White Paper to free councils to build themselves as the only time the country has ever achieved the rate of build needed to tackle the housing crisis is when Local Authorities delivered homes themselves. Last year the housing completions figures were the worst for 24 years, with only 32,000 affordable homes built nationally and less than 5000 in the East where new homes are desperately needed.
The only good news for Cambridge is the £70,000,000 we secured in the Devolution Deal and we will be looking for more funding and powers to be devolved to the Combined Authority and allow us to address housing need within the region."