LIB DEMS 'COULDN’T BELIEVE EYES' AT LABOUR U-TURN ON KEY WORKER HOUSING


Papers submitted to the Housing Scrutiny Committee at Cambridge City Council last night (21st June) were received with surprise and delight by Liberal Democrats councillors, who found that their long-standing demands for a focus on key worker housing in Cambridge had finally been heeded by Labour councillors.   A new priority was proposed and agreed to deliver rental homes at 80% of market rent, stated to be targeted at key workers or the intermediate rental market, with a commitment to align a key worker definition with South Cambs District Council. 
Cllr Katie Porrer (Lib Dem Housing Spokesperson) commented:
 
"I could not believe my eyes when I read this paper last week.  This is something that the Lib Dems have been pushing for since before I joined the council in 2019, but has mainly been greeted with derision from Labour.
 
"The importance of key workers is to help those looking for a home in Cambridge who can neither afford the very high market housing prices, nor qualify for social housing. They include those doing jobs that are vital for the functioning of our city and its economy. If we don’t address this we will become a more socially polarised place - increasingly the preserve of just the high and the low extremes of the income spectrum, squeezing out those many in between.
 
"We had been told repeatedly that Labour felt that key workers could not be defined (despite the Labour London Mayor doing exactly this) and that this was not a priority in Cambridge. Yet here we have a screeching U turn, which is very welcome to us. Finally the ruling group are accepting that this is a priority in our city. 
 
"We are of course fully supportive of the council house building in the city as this is a vital resource for those in need, and we support all the new developments coming forward.  
 
"So we urge the Labour ruling group to stick to this new commitment to key worker housing at 80% of market rent, which is still at an early stage, and not change their minds again in future.”

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