At last weeks Full Council meeting councillors voted to support a motion which will make it harder for property developers to shirk their affordable housing obligations through the use of questionable viability assessments.
Speaking in support of the motion and on the need for affordable housing local Charles Dickens ward campaigner Claire Udy said:
“Portsmouth is suffering with record numbers of homeless residents, some on the streets, some in temporary accommodation waiting for their chance to get a home. Developers who are only keen on maximising profits do not care about the housing provision of the most vulnerable in this city. I’ve been in Charles Dickens ward, taking to residents about their concerns. They are asking why there aren’t any homes for their children who now have children of their own. They also wonder why veterans are on the streets.”
This was a key issue highlighted in the recently published report the Portsmouth Labour Plan for Affordable Housing. Commenting on the motion the Chair of Portsmouth Labour Housing Forum Cal Corkery said:
“These viability assessments have been used by unscrupulous developers to get out of providing the affordable housing so desperately needed in our communities. I welcome this motion and am glad it has attracted support from across the political spectrum. Our group will continue to campaign on housing issues and look forward to winning more victories for local people.”
Local campaigners had been hard at work in recent weeks and months seeking cross party backing for these changes to affordable housing planning policy. As a result last weeks motion tabled by the Liberal Democrat group attracted unanimous support from councillors of all parties.