Basingstoke in affordable housing crisis

Basingstoke Gazette: Councillor Laura James Councillor Laura James

BASINGSTOKE is in the grips of an affordable housing crisis, according to the borough’s Labour leader.

Councillor Laura James criticised the Conservative-run borough council for not building enough affordable homes over the last year.

Her comments came after it was revealed that only 27 affordable homes were completed in the borough in the last year – missing a target of building over 308 affordable homes.

Cllr James said: “It is an absolute scandal that just 27 new affordable homes were built in Basingstoke last year. Basingstoke has over 7,000 people on the housing register, and many more in need of affordable homes.”

The Labour leader also criticised the council for not using enough taxpayers’ money to fund more affordable hou-sing in Bas-ingstoke and Deane.

She added: “This is when the council has millions in different reserves and developer contributions which are specifically allocated to supposedly help deliver more affordable homes – money that they’ve simply sat on. We have a growing affordable housing crisis, and building just 27 affordable homes in Basingstoke is disgraceful.”

Councillor Rob Golding, Conservative cabinet member for housing and regeneration, told The Gazette: “Money is either in reserves for specific issues that might arise, and income which is used to meet the council’s running costs to ensure that council tax in Basingstoke is one of the lowest in the country.”

When asked by The Gazette to comment on the level of affordable housing completed in the last year, he added: “I think it is clearly going to get a lot better over the next couple of years, and we know that the development is starting.”

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