You've probably heard about the housing crisis, but what is it all about and how does it affect Southampton? These were just some of the issues discussed at the recent tenants’ conference. Don't worry if you didn't make it, here's a roundup of what you missed.
The conference was a chance for tenants to find out more about how the current Housing Service is performing and our plans to deliver more council homes.
Southampton tenants Sandy Reeder, Dreena Hartup and Jane Hersee gave a rousing presentation about how the country is in vital need of more council housing to address the numbers of people on the Housing Register or living in temporary accommodation. They gave their support to a nationwide campaign launched by TV personality George Clarke. George wants the government to build 100,000 new council homes every year for the next 30 years.
In Southampton we recognise the need for more affordable homes. Property prices are soaring, there are currently over 7000 waiting for a home on the Housing Register, and the number of our current council properties is dwindling because of the Right To Buy scheme.
At the conference we outlined our plans to meet the challenge of building more affordable properties over the next few years. These will be a mix of council housing to rent and affordable shared ownership homes to buy. In fact, new homes have already been completed or are taking shape at Townhill Park, Maybush, Chapel and Lordshill.
At recent conferences tenants have asked us to improve our grass cutting service and we were keen to use the winter conference to report back on our progress. Thanks to our tenant volunteers who monitor the grass cutting service and provide useful feedback, we were able to confirm significant improvements in our maintenance of green areas in 2019.
The conference was also an opportunity to update tenants on our plans to make Southampton a greener, cleaner and healthier city, through Southampton’s Green City Charter.
Tenants also heard about our aim to become the city of culture in 2025. This was followed by a conference first – a contemporary dance performance from Holyrood based dance company ZoieLogic Dance Theatre.
Full details of all the presentations at the conference are available online. You can also find out about how you can get involved and genuinely make a difference to the housing service you receive. Our next tenants’ conference will take place in the summer.