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Letter to Editor: Who are Harlow Council building for?

Politics / Mon 29th Mar 2021 at 01:09pm

HARLOW’S ruling Labour group demonstrated once again that it dismisses any form of criticism, even when a report it commissions is critical of its performance. The report recommended 20 actions the Council need to take if the failures in the past are not to be repeated. The simple fact is, the snail pace at which new homes are being built means that due to continued sales through the Right To Buy Scheme (57 homes sold in 2019/20) the Council will have fewer homes than it did in 2012.

Looking at many of the recommendations, you would have thought these would already have been embedded in the Council’s house building programme. One of these is to ensure that what is built is actually what is needed; it seems that data is lacking to ensure this is the case. They seem intent to continue to build homes which in due course can and will be bought by the sitting tenant and so they will be lost from the Council’s housing stock.

What homes are available will determine whether a person applies for a different home. We know for instance that hundreds of residents living in homes they no longer need would like to move to a smaller home, allowing larger families to move in. However, these residents do not want to move into flat blocks where there are younger people but would like a home with say a large communal garden and facilities and services for older people. Building such homes means that they fall outside the Right To Buy scheme. 

Only The Harlow Alliance Party are committed to ensure that every Council home built in the next ten years are ones suitable for older residents, freeing up homes for those on the Housing Register.

By Nicholas Taylor of the Harlow Alliance Party

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