This article is part of a series based around our Plan for Affordable Housing which you can read more about here.

To sign the petition supporting our Plan for Affordable Housing click here.

Having lived almost all my life in Portsmouth, I’m passionate about our city and its residents. But in recent years we’ve been let down by a council leadership seemingly intent on destroying our public services and converting the local authority into Portsmouth PLC. The Tories have failed to invest in health, education, social care and for me most crucially in housing.

As a social housing tenant and homelessness support worker, I see on a daily basis the real effects of bad policy decisions, both nationally and locally. It’s this experience which led me to take a keen interest in housing policy issues. I organised a group of fellow Portsmouth Labour members with relevant experience and skills and together we formed the Portsmouth Labour Housing Policy Forum.

Our group has been hard at work researching local housing policy and putting together the plan contained within this report. We identified the ongoing Local Plan review process as an opportunity to engage with the consultation and propose a set of detailed policies which, if implemented, would significantly improve the supply of much needed affordable housing.

The Local Plan sets out the strategy for future development in the city and covers a wide range of topics including housing, employment, retail and community issues. We have chosen to focus on affordable housing in this report as it is an issue we feel particularly passionate about. However, Portsmouth Labour will be feeding into the consultation on all issues, putting forward the case for a better city for all.

Our proposals cover three main areas:

  1. For the council to play a lead role in the development of local affordable housing.
  2. Preventing property developers from circumventing local planning policies which require affordable housing to be provided on their sites.
  3. Removing the exemption which means student accommodation is not required to contribute towards local affordable housing provision.

Taken together our proposals represent a radical shift in local housing policy. The Tories have let us down by failing to build the affordable housing our city so desperately needs and letting property developers shirk their responsibilities. Our proposals would mean a move towards a housing plan for the many, not the few.

Cal Corkery                                                                                                                  Chair of the Portsmouth Labour Housing Policy Forum

To sign the petition supporting our Plan for Affordable Housing click here.