Written by Gerald Vernon-Jackson
For years councils have been forced to sell off council houses and flats. It has been brilliant for the families that bought them, but the Conservative Government would not allow councils to replace the houses and flats sold off. Portsmouth sold off over 16,000, and that means its much more difficult to house families who are homeless.
But action by the Lib Dem led City Council is seeing a rebirth in the building and acquiring of council houses.
Portsmouth City Council now has a pipeline of 749 of council houses and flats being built. But we have been more imaginative. We think Portsmouth is the only council in the country to buy back in volume former council properties that were sold off under Right to Buy. So far Portsmouth has bought back 382 houses and flats with another 90 in the pipeline.
One of the surprising successes of the COVID pandemic was that councils got almost everyone who was street homeless off the streets. Now Portsmouth City Council has bought three former student halls to provide 109 ensuite rooms for people who are homeless.
So in total that 1,330 new council properties either built, bought or in the pipeline to help local people and families have somewhere decent to live at a rent they can afford. This shows Lib Dem principles in action. Congratulations to Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for Housing, Darren Sanders, and all the team.