- We will use our planning policies to deliver a good supply of high quality and low carbon homes to buy or to rent in our Borough. This will include more affordable homes delivered through the social sector and directly by the Council, and wherever possible we will continue to build more Council housing to widen access to green, energy efficient high-quality homes that people on low incomes can afford. This will offset deficiencies in universal credit payments not meeting private sector rents. We will also work with local community land trusts and explore alternative forms of construction such as self-build and modular housing. We will continue to take action to reduce the number of empty homes and to improve standards in private rented housing.
- We will work with tenants of council-owned properties, through the new Tenants Charter, to monitor the levels of service for repairs and maintenance to ensure the service they receive from contractors meets their expectations. If this is not the case, then we will explore all options to address this. We will also review the West Cheshire Homes common allocation policy to ensure that social housing is allocated fairly and objectively to those in the greatest housing need. We will also look to introduce a Landlord’s Charter as part of plans to address issues of overcrowding, damp, mould and other health hazards faced by people living in substandard accommodation.
- We will support the national campaign against the Leasehold scandal, taking every opportunity to make the case for ‘commonholders’ rather than leaseholders. Where possible, we will use our own powers to stop developers from continuing this practice for new homeowners in our borough, and we will review options for an Estate Management Policy to take back control of unadopted estates, where it is possible to do so.
The next Labour Government will end the scandal of the ‘feudal’ leaseholder system and introduce a Leaseholder Reform Bill.
- We will work with landlords, both social and private, to do more to prevent people from losing their home and we will work with the community and voluntary sector to take action to specifically address the experience of families living in temporary accommodation, so that the long-term impacts on children can be reduced.
- We will deliver a ‘Homes for the future’ competition which will invite local architects in our borough to submit proposals for a new development on a council-owned brown field site. The winning proposal will set a new direction for housing development by the council.