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Lack of affordable homes 'biggest issue facing West Berkshire'

Council's chief executive admits 'we don't have the answers'

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

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01635 886632

Affordable homes in Thatcham welcome residents

THE chief executive of West Berkshire Council says the lack of affordable homes is the biggest issue facing the district.

Nick Carter’s claim came in response to a question asked by Newbury resident Neil Taylor.

Mr Taylor raised concerns about the increasing number of homeless people and a lack of affordable homes at Market Street.

Mr Carter responded: “I think your wider point is that there isn’t enough affordable housing.

“We as a local authority – and many employers in the audience – struggle with recruitment and a lot of that, particularly for low-paying jobs, is driven by the cost of living in West Berkshire.

“Affordable housing is, I think, probably our biggest challenge.

“It is probably our biggest challenge in West Berkshire, a huge challenge in the South East and a huge national challenge.

“We haven’t got the answers to it in many respects.

“The challenge we had with the Market Street scheme comes back down to viability.

“This is the issue we are constantly struggling with.

“There was an expectation when we started of having 30-per-cent affordable housing with the Market Street scheme.

“Simply getting that to a point where it was viable meant that, unfortunately, it was the affordable housing that was reduced and we have seen that with previous schemes.

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Article comments

  • Anonymous1

    16/05/2017 - 22:10

    Affordable housing is not affordable...FACT! You are expected to pay a high amount for a small percentage of a property and then have to pay out higher amount over time than if you bought a place at 100%. It is disgusting. The rich appearing to help the less fortunate but actually, screwing them over massively. Wrong on many levels.

    Reply

  • newsouls

    15/05/2017 - 13:01

    Affordable homes in Newbury do not exist. Prices are crazy in Newbury

    Reply

  • JonnyRoberts87

    15/05/2017 - 12:12

    The answer is for West Berks to get off their backsides and become an active housing developer like many other councils. Set up their own housing company and instead of gifting land like Market Street to developers for £1 they could build on the site themselves. That could have been 200 'affordable homes' right there, next to the council offices.

    Reply

  • Darrin666

    15/05/2017 - 11:11

    I love the phase 'affordable homes', surely if you have money, you can afford anything. How about low paid first time buyers.

    Reply

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