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Gloucestershire Business News

Lib-Dems urge council to bid for housing cash

The Liberal Democrats are calling on Gloucester City Council to bid for government funding to build new council houses or homes for affordable rent in Gloucester.

The government has recently announced a £2 billion pot and the party wants to see the city get its share.

Councillors Declan Wilson and David Brown, who both represent Hucclecote on the city council, are also asking the Conservative leadership to look at ways of raising further money to build more homes for rent. The motion will be debated at the next meeting of the city council on 23rd November.

Cllr Wilson said: "The rising cost of housing in Gloucester means that many of our young people will never be able to afford to buy their own home. There is also a shortage of council and housing association homes to rent in Gloucester with long waiting lists.

"The additional government funding for new affordable homes to buy and to rent is welcome and the Liberal Democrats are urging the Conservatives on the city council to be at the front of the queue to ensure Gloucester does not miss out.

"Under the Conservative government, the building of both social and affordable housing has plummeted across the country. Since 2015, the government has overseen the sell-off of over 25,000 council homes and replaced fewer than one in three.

"As well as building new homes, the government must also reform the Right to Buy scheme, by allowing councils to suspend it if they wish and ensure all homes sold are replaced."

The motion says: "This council notes the announcement from the Prime Minister that the government will allocate £2 billion to build additional homes for social or affordable rent. This council agrees that it should bid for a slice of the £2 billion to build new homes for social or affordable rent in Gloucester. This council also agrees that it should do much more to facilitate the building of new affordable homes for rent within the city of Gloucester and it asks the cabinet member for housing and planning to prepare a report on how this council can raise further finance to build new homes for rent itself.

"This also agrees to lobby the city MP to seek his support to promote changes in legislation that would allow this council to borrow money from financial institutions to enable the building of new council homes in Gloucester.

"This council agrees that it should also lobby the government to remove the right to buy from new homes the council might build in future, which are let on social or affordable rent tenancies."

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