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Housing: The key issue for Cambridge

December 1, 2003 12:00 AM

How can we keep our key workers such as nurses and teachers in Cambridge? How can we make homes affordable for local people? How we make sure that the most vulnerable in our society have a warm and decent home to live in?

These are some of the key issues to be debated at this Thursday's full council meeting. The Lib Dems will bring their Housing Strategy to the council and will be seeking cross-party support for ways to ease the acute housing shortage in Cambridge. Councillors will also be discussing an amendment from the Labour Group which looks to give special attention to the needs of key workers at Addenbrokes Hospital.

According to Cllr Catherine Smart, the Executive Councillor for Housing and Health:

"The Housing Strategy document highlights many of the acute problems in Cambridge  the lack of affordable housing for key workers in our city, the quality of homes for the elderly and vulnerable, the whole issue of the homeless.

We note the Labour group's motion to the council agenda and welcome its tone of cross-party cooperation. We couldn't agree more that nurses and other key workers at Addenbrokes Hospital need special attention. The Housing Strategy document highlights them as having the most acute housing problems in the city. We are looking to a close partnership between the city, South Cambs, local agencies and central government that will help to alleviate their housing problems. It is only with cooperation and more government funding that we will be able to provide the affordable housing needed by those key workers at our local hospital".

The Housing Strategy points to:

  • The need for much more housing of all kinds across the city and beyond
  • An increase in the supply of more affordable 'social' lettings
  • Schemes such as equity sharing which may help young couples to get their feet on the housing ladder
  • Policies to increase the quality of new and existing houses in the city
  • Imaginative funding schemes to help older people to improve the quality of their homes
  • Schemes to help the homeless and rough sleepers
  • Schemes to tackle anti-social behaviour in our estates