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New funds, changes in planning rules and more freedom for local councils to ...
New funds, changes in planning rules and more freedom for local councils to

address the key worker housing crisis in their communities are urgently

needed, according to the latest report from the LGA.

The report 'Key Workers and Affordable Housing' by the LGA, shows increasing

problems for public and private sector organisations attracting staff to

high cost housing areas, as well as young people moving away from their home

localities to afford their own home.

LGA housing executive chair Paul Bettison is pressing new housing

and planning minister Lord Rooker to consider the survey and the LGA's

suggestions for change, in a letter to the minister this week:

'We are particularly concerned to ensure that the spending review will

result in adequate resources being available to achieve the decent homes

standard, to address the problems of homelessness and affordable housing in

some areas and to tackle low demand and abandonment in other regions.'

The LGA report sets out some of the key changes councils want to see to help

them address their particular housing problems, these include:

- Increases in public funding for the Starter Home Initiative

- Local discretion for the definition of key workers

- Planning rule changes to encourage more innovative housing developments

The report includes evidence from a number of local authorities highlighting

their local difficulties with housing and jobs, for example:

- Wokingham has evidence of recruitment problems for bus drivers, shop

workers and hotels staff, where the minimum salary required to join the

property market is£33K

- Cambridge says 80% of employers have recruitment problems, most citing

high property prices as a cause

- In Surrey 50% of primary school teacher advertisements had no applicants

Mr Bettison said: 'Local councils need more funds and more freedom

to tackle their problems locally, many have good ideas for doing this, often

working imaginatively with local employers to invest in affordable housing


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