Oxford Labour's Housing Campaign
Housing is a huge problem in Oxford, where local families are struggling to find affordable places for themselves, and their children, to rent or buy. Oxford was recently found to be the least affordable area to live in the country. Oxford has also seen a significant increase in the level of homelessness and rough sleeping, which has doubled since 2016.
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The Labour-run Oxford City Council is active in doing everything it can to tackle our housing crisis.
We have signed up to:
· Build 1000 new affordable homes over the next four years
· Complete the Barton development with over 350 units of social housing
· Provide our new Council run local housing company with £74M of loan finance to build homes
· Give the new East Oxford Community centre site the money to build social housing
· Ensure all new developments match our target of at least half of the homes being affordable housing, 80% of which will be at social rents
· Spend £20M a year making sure our existing 8000 council houses and tower blocks are kept in good shape
· Work with District Councils outside Oxford City to release more land for housing at affordable prices
But we still need to do more as it is estimated that another 25,000 homes need to be built by 2031 to keep up with the demand in Oxford.
Rough sleeping is also a high priority for the Council, which has dramatically increased in recent years due to a lack of affordable homes for rent, Tory benefit cuts and freezes especially for young people, major cuts to hostel funding by the Tory government and County Council, cuts to support services in mental health and to prevent drugs and alcohol abuse.
Oxford Labour is determined to do all we can to fight these mean-spirited cuts and defend vital services for homeless people.
· Work to keep enough beds for those rough sleepers and single homeless people with an Oxford connection – some 180 beds from April and more next year in 2019
· Improve the quality of hostel and specialist accommodation for people with complex needs by building new premises in Cowley
· Work with our charitable partners to fund more beds in cold weather, which anyone can use.
· Fund debt counselling, and specialist advice to prevent evictions, and reduce the full impact of paying the Council Tax for people with low incomes – all these help people keep their homes.
· After discussions with homeless people and our partners agree on a long-term plan – the Rough Sleeping Charter for Oxford.
You can read a letter by Anneliese Dodds MP and Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council to Housing Minister Dominic Raab MP on the issue here.
You can also watch a short video made by City Council candidate (Carfax ward) Richard Howlett on homelessness here.