Councils urged to tackle homes crisis

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A THINK tank believes a lack of council housing locally could be solved by flogging off high value properties to fund building newer homes in their place.

The Herald reported earlier this month that the local council has a shortage of three-bedroom family homes in the area.

That fact was highlighted by the plight of one family who faced being made homeless after being told they had to leave their current home.

The only suitable property they were shown was the house in Milfoil Road in which two young brothers tragically lost their lives during a fire.

The council said that it was lucky if one three-bedroom house became available for people on the housing list a month.

And it is examples like that which have led the influential Policy Exchange group to recommend authorities cash in on council stock in expensive areas to prop up the number in high demand parts of towns.

Eastbourne Borough Council already operates a scheme which helps council house tenants buy their homes which some say will see further decreases in the numbers of council homes available locally.

The suggestion has been welcomed by building firms. Gabrielle Omar, director of architect firm Lolli & Square, and star of the most recent series of the TV-reality show The Apprentice, said, “The building industry has been witnessing a lot of setbacks of late – with stalled projects, fluctuating budgets and even construction firms going into administration all causing much disruption.

“If they are incentivised to build properties that will be in demand, it will be great for the sector.

“It would be a great strategy for local councils as it will allow them to unlock equity and provide homes for people in need in East Sussex.”

Critics have said that it could result in cut price homes being put up at low cost and creating the slums of the future.

r What do you think of the idea? Would it work in Eastbourne? Send your letters to eastbourne.herald@trbeckett.co.uk