Wakefield councillors share concerns about government housing plans

​Date:19/02/2016

PR ref: 6177

Wakefield councillors have debated their response to the Government's new draft Housing and Planning Bill.

Councillors were concerned if the law, which is currently being discussed in Parliament, is passed a generation of young people may never have the chance to buy their own homes, and would always be renting from private landlords.

Conservative members chose not to take part in the debate, and left the chamber, after their amendments to the motion were rejected for discussion.

Cllr Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said: "I was very disappointed the opposition didn't stay to represent the people who elected them in this important debate, which is very significant for residents of this district."

The Government's housing plan is for builders to construct 200,000 new homes for sale across the UK, for sale only to first-time buyers. But there are concerns that the price of starter homes will be out of reach for most people needing affordable housing.

Cllr Box said: "Starter homes will be too expensive for the majority of people in need of an affordable home.

"Not everyone is ready to buy, and it is crucial that councils are still able to ensure there is a mix of homes that are affordable for those people that need them."

Councillors agreed the motion which included a commitment to analyse and report on the extension of right-to-buy and the 'starter homes' requirement on the local availability of affordable homes.

The debate also covered issues that could affect the district such as shared ownership and rented accommodation.