Inspired by 100 years of social housing I thought I’d have a look at what we can be proud of here in the Rochford District (or not). Each quarter I receive a report from the housing team at Rochford District Council. I thought it was well worth sharing some of the ‘highlights’ of the report as you might find some very surprising!

You can quickly see why developers are keen to build large properties in Rayleigh with the average price being highest in our District, with the smaller properties attracting a lower price than the surrounding districts.

56% of first-time buyers cannot afford a flat or maisonette based on a mortgage at 3 x their income. This rises to 76% for those wishing to purchase a terraced property and a 100% for a detached property

First-time buyers who are looking for a detached property who can only afford 3 x their income are out of luck here in our district.

It could be a long wait if you are on the housing register

These figures don’t paint a rosy future for many residents, despite hard work, they will face an uphill struggle to get onto the property ladder in any shape or form and with Rochford District Council not owning any council housing property in the District, the future looks gloomy for many.

So is there an alternative?

Last night, George Clarke’s Council House Scandal shows how social housing in other countries they don’t carry the same stigma as they may do here. We need to take a serious look at the options. Back here in good old blighty, it’s an embarrassment how we treat those in need of housing. In Harlow in Essex, private developers have created temporary housing which is just 18㎡

With nearly 700 currently on our housing register, I don’t think we are doing nearly enough to help. Council needs to shelve vanity projects and start living up to its byline of ‘residents at the heart of everything we do’ – it’s time to start building a new generation of Council housing for our residents. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below

Join George Clarkes campaign here

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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