Affordable Housing

Birmingham City Council should encourage the building of affordable housing on brown field sites. Private house builders are not creating enough affordable housing for the people of SohoandJQ.

Renting

Landlords must be responsible for fees and costs in getting new tenants. Tenants are often those that cannot get on the property ladder and have a lower income – why should they pay huge fees to find a home?

Homeless and Rough Sleeping

Rough sleeping is a complicated issue, with links to mental health and drug abuse. Walking through the ward – from Fleet Street, NCP car Parks, Hockey Flyover and along Soho Road we can see many rough sleepers. There are so many that I do not trust the Labour councils official figures. There was reportedly 2800 homeless in Birmingham as of the end of 2016.

Policies to help eradicate homelessness include;

  • Introducing a Housing First provider in each local authority, to put long-term homeless people straight into independent homes rather than emergency shelters.
  • Increase funding for local councils for homelessness prevention.
  • Reinstating housing benefit for under-21s.
  • Reversing planned cuts to Local Housing Allowance rates.

The number of people reported to be sleeping rough rose to 4,134 in 2016, up 16% on the previous year. The Government has estimated that homelessness costs the state up to £1 billion a year.

Soho and Jewellery Quarter Liberal Democrat Gareth Hardy said:

“It is a national scandal that so many people are sleeping on the streets in 21st century Britain. We are one of the richest nations in the world. By increasing support for homelessness prevention and properly funding emergency accommodation, we can end rough sleeping across the nation.

We must ensure that each local authority has at least one provider of Housing First services, to allow long-term homeless people to live independently in their own homes.

The evidence suggests that supporting people and giving them long-term, stable places to stay is far more successful in tackling homelessness than constantly moving them to different temporary accommodation.

Under the Tory government, homelessness has soared and the stripping of young people of housing benefit threatens to make matters even worse. The Conservatives care for the rich, not the needy.

We all need to stand up for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.”