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Labour’s Housing Chief says the City Deal crucial in delivering new housing

Councillor Kevin Price, the Labour-led City Council’s Executive Councillor for Housing and a member of the City Deal Assembly, has said he is determined to use the City Deal to deliver more housing even though the government didn’t grant the housing ‘asks’ of the City Deal partners. At the March meeting of the Assembly, members will be briefed on the housing side of the City Deal and proposals put forward for the partners to unlock the potential for hundreds of additional new homes in Cambridge or South Cambridgeshire over the next few years together with an innovative City Deal led Housing Delivery Vehicle (HDV) to unlock finance and oversee site development plans and construction.

Councillor Kevin Price said: “We had asked the coalition government to include measures in the City Deal which would unlock additional home building for tenants in the private and social sectors but these were not granted so we have gone back to square one to look at how we can work together. We must use the City Deal to help unlock the potential for more homes alongside major infrastructure investment. The proposal for a Housing Development Vehicle is important in facilitating this and making sure that as a council we have the right skills to compete in an aggressive development market. We want to deliver up to 500 more new homes in or by Cambridge. That’s an ambitious target for the council but we have to be ambitious for Cambridge.

“Financing these new homes is a key issue which is why in the City we have already set aside up to £8 million in our budget to invest in homes for private sector tenants in Cambridge. Alongside building new council homes we are determined to provide high quality affordable rental homes for those on average incomes priced out of owning and with little choice in the over-heated private sector.”

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner, added that the plan to build 500 new homes fit with Labour's national objectives: “Labour has pledged to lift the number of new homes being built – the numbers were rising before the financial crash of 2008, but we have still not returned to those levels, and need to do more to ensure affordability. Cambridge will be a key growth area for Labour, and I've invited the shadow minister, Hilary Benn to visit Cambridge in the next few weeks so we can explain exactly what we will need from the next Government.”

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