Cllr James' Petition: Homes for Heroes in North Somerset

During the Coronavirus Pandemic, our key workers have kept the country going in a huge range of ways – whether it by keeping up the supply chain of food, PPE, and other essential items, or by caring for our Communities through the NHS and Social Care system. In the West of England, Key Workers have struggled from a lack of affordable housing near the communities they serve.

This is especially the case for remote and rural communities like our Towns and Villages in North Somerset – where homeownership has become out of reach for most key workers, with house prices currently costing eleven times a yearly salary. Meanwhile, rents are spiralling out of control with many fighting arrears every day.

It is time to start valuing these essential workers beyond our Thursday evening claps. That’s why I am backing the G15 Homes for Heroes Report calling for safe, secure and genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy, starting to repay society’s debt to heroic essential workers.

The G15 has created a report on how Homes for Heroes can be delivered, resting on four building blocks:

  1. Create a national programme of low-cost homes prioritised for the heroes who have put themselves at risk to keep us alive and healthy throughout this crisis.
  2. Deliver an initial burst of thousands of homes within months, by matching government funding with housing association resources to make completed homes and those under construction available on a low-cost basis for essential workers
  3. Support a high-tech manufacturing base to create jobs across the country - powering a long-term ambitious programme to deliver the low-cost homes our heroes need,
  4. Spread the costs across society by part-funding the homes through public giving, public land, government funding and housing associations’ resources.

You can Read the G15 Report Here:

https://www.networkhomes.org.uk/media/9201/g15-homes-for-heroes-web-dps-final.pdf 

Dear North Somerset Council

Housing is becoming more and more unaffordable in North Somerset with Rent spiralling out of control. Essential workers on the frontline of this crisis are often among the lowest paid in society. That is why we are calling for Homes for Heroes, giving these people a safe, secure and genuinely affordable home to live in.

Please lobby central government to back the recommendations of the G15's Home for Heroes Report to bring forward a once-in-a-generation number of new homes for our essential workers, including those not eligible for traditional key-worker housing. Homes should be well designed, in keeping with our Climate Emergency, with private outdoor space, and in convenient well-connected locations for healthcare facilities, schools and other employment hubs.

1) Create a national programme of 100,000 low-cost homes prioritised for the heroes who have put themselves at risk to keep us alive and healthy throughout this crisis.

2) Deliver an initial burst of thousands of homes within months, by matching government funding with housing association resources to make completed homes and those under construction available on a low-cost basis for essential workers.

3) Support a high-tech manufacturing base to create jobs across the country - powering a long-term ambitious programme to deliver the low-cost homes our heroes need, starting to repay society's debt.

4) Spread the costs across society by part-funding the homes through public giving, public land, government funding and housing associations' resources, to lever in private funding

Please integrate the findings and spirit of this Report into the construction of your Local Plan by supporting sustainable and inclusive development in North Somerset.

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