Say NO press release: Affordable Homes - 28 Nov 2016

PLANS FOR 86,000 NEW HOMES WILL NOT SOLVE HOUSING CRISIS IN SOUTH ESSEX

Campaign groups in South Essex are angered by plans to build 86,000 homes in South Essex. Will South Essex Local Authority ‘Local Plans’ that set out housing need for each area solve the housing shortage?

The South Essex Action Group Alliance ‘Say No Campaign’ says that it won’t. They believe that the Government housing policy is based largely on the belief that the current housing shortage could be resolved by prioritising home ownership and doing little to assist households who could not afford it. The right to buy scheme has depleted ‘Social Housing’ and the government have no plans to invest in further Local Authority housing. Instead, at present, Starter Homes are redefined in the Housing and Planning Act 2015 as properties for first-time buyers under 40 with a discount of at least 20 per cent. “Starter Homes” have now been dubbed as affordable housing.

Taking the Basildon Borough’s emerging ‘Local Plan’ as an example, campaign spokesman Dr Philip Gibbs stated “The cost of a new build 3 bedroom semi in Basildon will be upwards of £340k. The so called equivalent ‘affordable’ home will be upwards of £270k. Based on average earnings local people can only get a mortgage of around £135k - these new homes will clearly NOT benefit the majority of local residents or their children because they will be ‘unaffordable’ to most people. These homes will most likely benefit those cashing in on over-inflated London house prices because Basildon is within commuting distance.

Example: Basildon Borough Local Plan will not be providing Homes for Families in Need

  • c12,800 New Non ‘Affordable Homes’ planned for Basildon (Example: New 3 Bedroom Semi’s recently sold for £340K)
  • C3,200 New ‘Affordable Homes’ planned for Basildon. Based on 80% of Market Value. (Using above example 80% of £340K = £270k
  • The average weekly wage in Basildon is £520 per week, around £27K per year. The maximum a first time borrower on £27k pa can borrow is c£135k - they would need a deposit of £205K!!

The drive for a ‘home ownership’ solution in South Essex is flawed because the idea that building more houses will lower prices is a myth. House prices in South Essex are determined by the affordability to Londoners. It will just drive up average house prices, and rents too. Rising rents mean households are often unable to find affordable alternative accommodation and ‘taxpayers’ will be picking up the bill as homelessness increases. Dr Gibbs and protest groups under the umbrella of SEEAGA are urging residents to write to their Local Councillors objecting to the plans. Details of elected Borough Councillors can be found on Local Authority websites. Protest info: http//seeaga.uk

SEEAGA website: http://seeaga.uk/
Contact campaign spokesman: Philip Gibbs: info@seeaga.uk, 07516 461173
South East Essex Action Groups Alliance press: http://seeaga.uk/press.html