Following a point of order last week, Wera Hobhouse MP for Bath has been selected for an Adjournment debate on Social Housing.
Wera Hobhouse said: “With the Foxhill redevelopment set to reduce the provision of social housing units in Bath, there are two key areas for discussion. Firstly, the government must stop conflating Social Housing with Affordable Housing. The two are not the same. In Bath there is no such thing as affordable housing, because 80% of market rate, in Bath, is simply not affordable to many people. Social rents are decided by a complicated system, but work out to somewhere between 45% and 65% of market rates. In a city like Bath, it is social units that are desperately needed for the poorest and most vulnerable in our community, not the so called ‘affordable’ or ‘shared ownership’ options for young professionals.
Secondly, in his letter to me, Housing Minister Alok Sharma rejected my request to call in the planning decision to demolish social homes in Foxhill. My objection was that the city would end up with fewer social units when all the work is completed. He said that the planning application was in line with government policy. We must hold this Conservative government to account for this statement. How can any government have a policy that reduces social housing? We must demand that this position be reversed, especially as we are hearing today that this government has plunged three quarters of a million more people into poverty.
So, on Wednesday I shall be raising these points in the House, and I shall be making sure everyone knows that this was a bad decision by the local Conservative administration, and an appalling position for this government to take.”
The Adjournment Debate will take place on Wednesday evening.