News release from: 22/01/2024
Have your say on the future of local housing
Residents, businesses and local organisations are being asked to help shape the future of housing across Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire in a consultation launched today (Monday 22 January).
The Housing Strategy for Greater Cambridge has recently been reviewed and sets out a vision for the next five years which promotes healthy, safe, affordable and sustainable homes where people of all walks of life want to live.
The public are now being asked to comment. The consultation runs for six weeks from Monday 22 January until 4 March 2024, and gives an opportunity to shape and influence the final strategy before it is finalised in the summer.
Jointly published by Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils, the document reflects the linked economy and housing market across the areas, and shows how the two authorities will work collaboratively to meet housing challenges for the next five years.
Cllr John Batchelor, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Providing housing that is truly affordable for everyone to live in and being green to our core are our key pledges for the District, so I welcome the next edition of the Housing Strategy to help support the Council’s commitments.
“Working with Cambridge City Council, we hope to achieve these ambitions and build strong, healthy communities for both existing and new residents. We know that affordability is a huge challenge for local people and we want to ensure that we continue to increase the availability of affordable housing, providing a range of options from those that rent to those that want to get a foot on the housing ladder.
“Housing is so much more than just bricks and mortar. Well designed and good quality homes have huge benefits on our health and wellbeing, as well as mitigating and adapting to climate change. Having the right homes in the right places impacts us all, so I urge everyone to comment on our draft housing strategy, so we can hear first-hand whether you agree that we’re on the right track. We will listen, and your comments will influence how we meet South Cambridgeshire’s housing challenges.”
Cllr Gerri Bird, Cambridge City Council’s Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness, said: “Cambridge is a great place to live, with a strong economy and an international reputation, with people from all over the world wanting to live, work and study here. But not everyone is seeing the benefits. Many residents are struggling to afford local rents and house prices which are some of the highest in the country.
“Plans are already in place for significant numbers of homes to be built in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, and we need to make sure that as many of these as possible are affordable to local people.
“However, it is not just about new homes. We need to help people who are living in poor or unsafe conditions, as well as those who need additional support to remain at home. Measures to make homes more energy and water efficient housing not only help people who are struggling to heat their homes but are also essential in dealing with the climate change emergency.
“I would encourage all residents and interested partners to respond to the consultation and help shape our approach to housing issues going forwards.”
The proposed housing strategy will help guide housing affordability, the planning of new homes, improvements to the quality, safety and condition of existing homes, and helping people who need additional support to remain at home. It focusses on four key themes:
- Building the right homes in the right places that people need and can afford to live in
- Providing high quality, low carbon, energy and water efficient homes
- Enabling people to live settled lives
- Building strong partnerships
Pledges for the two councils to achieve their objectives. include:
- South Cambridgeshire: delivering at least 375 new council homes during the next five years, undertaking a stock condition survey of all existing council homes to produce a 15-year plan for their improved energy efficiency, and continuing to deliver a cost-of-living support programme, including increased money advice support.
- Cambridge City: delivering new homes through a 10-year affordable housing programme, retrofitting 50 council homes to net zero carbon standards, providing new council homes for local workers at 80% of market rents and helping to ensure that existing communities can benefit from house-building and other projects.
It runs alongside the councils’ Local Plans (adopted in 2018), existing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategies, and a number of other local strategies and plans.
To comment on the draft Greater Cambridge Housing Strategy, visit our dedicated webpage.