Horsham Labour has launched its housing manifesto ahead of the local elections in May. The manifesto highlights the importance of ensuring that the planning process delivers in the interest of the local community. Their plan will address the Conservatives’ record on housing which Labour views as one of failure on all fronts at both local and national government level: “This failure has resulted in a local housing and infrastructure crisis which now desperately needs to be addressed.
“Horsham needs a council that will help tackle our community’s housing problem, will build more affordable homes, end rough sleeping and ensure everyone has a secure, affordable place to call home. But it is not only about housing, it is about creating sustainable communities which ensures that as more homes are built the infrastructure including schools, hospitals, GP surgeries and transport systems are put in place to meet the needs of our growing community at the outset and are all part of the planning process.
“Whilst the Tories locally have no plan to fix the housing crisis, the Labour Party if elected to run Horsham District Council in May will ensure all developments have as a minimum 50% affordable homes. This must include a mixture of homes with social rents, shared ownership and supported living schemes.
“Making the delivery of affordable housing its number one priority after years of Conservative indifference will significantly reduce the length of time that applicants on the housing register have to wait for a decent home. This will enable the council to review the eligibility criteria for applications to the housing register, so that many more local people and young families will be able to access a home that they can afford.”
The manifesto highlights Labour’s commitment to invest in support services that help the homeless to find secure accommodation and to address other challenges in their lives, so that they can put down roots in our local community and develop a positive future. In the manifesto, Horsham Labours state “we believe it’s unacceptable that in an area as affluent as Horsham, people are forced to sleep on the streets because they have nowhere else to go.”
David Hide, Chair of Horsham Labour said: “We will work with developers and other local partners to ensure sustainable communities are built, both in terms of affordability and the environment, however, if a developer wants to build in Horsham and their plans do not comply with the policies contained with the council’s own local plan, Labour councillors will not be afraid to turn down their planning applications.”
Cameron McGillivray, Horsham Labour’s campaign coordinator, said: “For too long the Tories have ignored the issues raised by the people of Horsham. The Tory record on housing and infrastructure in Horsham has been a complete disaster. Labour councillors elected in May will put the interests of local people before the property developers.”
Carol Hayton, a lifelong housing campaigner who wrote the document said: “The Tories have failed to build the homes that our community needs and instead have delivered thousands of unaffordable houses, and in the process has delivered both a housing and infrastructure crisis. Labour is the only party in Horsham that has consistently held the council to account on this issue and is committed to finding solutions to end the crisis. “