07. Policy H2 - Affordable Homes
- I object to the changes in policy H2 Affordable homes which still do not go far enough to address affordable or social housing need.
- “Affordable” homes, under national definitions, means homes that are sold or rented at 80% of market value. Even if 70% of these are rented as proposed, the level of market prices in the South-East means (even post-Brexit) that these homes will remain well beyond most people’s means and that starter homes will not become available for local people.
- In addition, “the viability clause” means that in practice the policy could be unenforceable. Private financial viability has no place in a public policy and should be removed. It is a get-out-of-jail-free card for developers that will sacrifice countryside for no local benefit.
- This policy’s version of “affordability” is just a smokescreen for pushing through more development generally. Building more homes in Guildford cannot increase real affordability given the overhang of the London market.
- GBC has failed demonstrably to provide any significant social housing. Over the last 2 years a tiny 65 units have been built. GBC may have demonstrated a pre-determined agenda to build large numbers of high priced executive boxes for Londoners in the Green Belt but key workers such as nurses and teachers have been ignored. Opportunities for local not for profit social housing schemes, borrowing from the public sector at low interest rates and using existing GBC land holdings are extensive. But the political persuasion and intent of GBC does not seem to really want to accommodate local people in need. This is a great pity.