Northampton is on the brink of a housing crisis. Instead of providing people with affordable housing, unfortunately NBC are collaborating with Housing Associations to move people around. It is also costing the borough thousands of pounds each week to support people in B&B and in temporary accommodations; this is not the long term housing solution we hoped for.
The government continues to claim right-to-buy sales will be replaced on a one for one basis. However the facts tell us a different story. Northampton has a replacement rate of 3% or 97% short of one for one.
Cllr Rufia Ashraf, Shadow Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“I am the Shadow portfolio holder for housing and I am alarmed at the very serious problem we are facing. We need a long term strategy that puts peoples housing needs at the top.
This current administration is not taking the matter as seriously as I hoped. We do not have enough social housing and this is pushing vulnerable people into the hands of private landlords who are just exploiting them by charging high rents. Private sector rents are not capped. But benefits are! Tenancies are insecure and we are seeing more and more families becoming homeless. There is a solution. NBC has land holdings - such as unused garage space, small parcels of land ripe for new build developments. We need the land unlocking.
In St James we currently still have two underdeveloped sites that could be used for housing and potentially relieve some of the pressure on demand. I will be urging the Council to put pressure on those developers to deliver.”