City Council unveils new housing strategy
26th February 2016
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Exeter City Council’s Housing Strategy will go before members of its Scrutiny Community Committee on 1 March.

Launched at a time when the government is heavily promoting greater levels of owner occupation as the solution to the housing crisis, the Council’s strategy adopts a wider approach and aims to address a greater range of housing needs over the next four years.

The strategy focuses on three key themes: tackling housing need & vulnerability; providing more housing; and being a good landlord.

As part of the strategy, the Council will look at negotiating with developers and working closely with other agencies to increase the supply of affordable housing to buy and rent across the city. People in housing need will be able to access high quality housing advice and the Council will continue to visit all its council tenants on a regular basis and promote high standards in the private rented sector.

Cllr Rob Hannaford, Lead Councillor for the Housing Revenue Account, said: “This strategy sets out the Council’s stall. It is being introduced against the background of a national policy landscape that, in our view, is far too simplistic in its definition of the housing problem and the solution to that problem.

"Much of government policy is positively damaging to social housing, and irrelevant to those suffering housing insecurity and vulnerability. Any housing strategy worth its salt must target a variety of differing housing needs, and that is what we are seeking to do.

"Working with and through a range of partners, as well as trying to lead by example in terms of how we manage our own housing stock, we want to make sure the strategy deals with all sorts of housing challenges faced by our residents, not just the perceived obstacles to higher levels of owner occupation.

"Encouraging owner occupation is a perfectly legitimate aspiration, and one we fully support where it is the right solution for the person concerned, but we don’t think it should be the only tool in the box,” added Cllr Hannaford. 

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