Bromley Liberal Democrats have announced a new flagship policy to deliver council and affordable housing if elected in the local elections on 3rd May 2018.
The proposal would see a 100% council-owned housing company created to invest an initial £53.3m into building new council and affordable homes. The council-run company would encourage investment and development in the Borough, and give housing priority to Bromley residents rather than to the highest bidder.
The plan involves using approved surpluses from the Bromley Council budget, utilising funds from the Public Works Board and drawing upon investment assets that the Council currently own. The policy is designed to ensure Bromley invests at home, putting an end to the Conservative-run Council’s program of spending council tax payers’ money in commercial property outside of our borough.
The Lib Dems have also pledged that any profits generated by the council-owned company will be reinvested to improve existing homes and facilities in Bromley, and that, unlike the existing Conservative policy in Bromley, no existing residents or families that fall upon hard times would be re-housed away from the area they call home.
This model has already been trialled successfully across the country, including by Liberal Democrat-run Sutton Council, and has been reported on by the Smith Institute, who found that Local Housing Companies “offer councils a ‘triple dividend’ in the form of much needed extra housing, a greater stewardship role in place-shaping and a financial return to the council.”
On the plans, Copers Cope candidate Rich Wilsher said:
“We’re excited to announce our plan to invest an identified £53million in building new council and affordable housing. Conservative-run Bromley Council believes it is better to spend our Council Tax on commercial property assets outside the Borough rather than invest in people in our own backyard. We completely oppose that.”
Julie Ireland, Bromley Town candidate, added:
“The Conservatives are fundamentally failing to provide affordable places to live for the people of Bromley, and in particular our younger generation, who are the future of our borough. Our plan would deliver these desperately needed affordable homes and generate profits to put back into the Council’s budget.”
“We want affordable housing for local people. We will do this with development taking place locally, keeping it 100% council-owned, and taking the community with us. We believe it’s time to start building more homes that are truly affordable.”