Councillor Kevin Price, the City’s Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Housing, has said that the announcement that Dominic Raab is moving from the role of Housing Minister to Brexit Secretary is a further blow to the hopes of councils and the housing sector that the housing crisis is being taken seriously by the government.
He said: “There is a housing supply and affordability crisis in the county. The Government know it, everyone in the housing sector knows it, and residents in Cambridge who can’t afford to buy or rent a home know it. Time and again we’ve heard the rhetoric from Westminster that they want to ‘fix the broken housing market’ but instead the reality has been that Housing has been the place to park a Tory MP on his way to another government role.
We about to be on the fifth Housing Minister in two years – and the eighth since 2010 . Dominic Raab hardly had time even to meet with the sector’s leaders and professionals or talk to councils about what we need to play our part in solving this problem and now we have to start that all over again”
Councillor Price added: “ As a council we are doing everything we can by putting housing delivery at the forefront of our own plans. Over 1170 new homes were built in Cambridge in 2016/17 with just under 40% (458) of those as affordable homes. We have delivered over 240 new council homes ourselves in the last 3 years, we have more than 200 more on site or with planning consent and we plan to deliver more than 700 new council homes by 2021/22. That is an exceptional record for a district council but we are being let down by a government which is failing to do anything except pay lip service to housing whilst overseeing huge rises in homelessness and rough sleeping and a generation locked into high rents.”