Conservatives call for release of £3 million Affordable Housing fund

Conservative Councillors are calling on Bath and North East Somerset Council to release money from a £3 million fund in order to support the delivery of new affordable homes throughout the area.

The Council’s £3 million Affordable Housing Reserve was created by the authority’s previous Conservative administration back in 2010, but since the Liberal Democrats took over the running of the Council in 2011 this funding has sat unused for nearly five years.

At the Council’s budget-setting meeting taking place this Tuesday, 17th February, Conservatives are set to table a proposal which calls for money to be freed-up so that it can be used to support more affordable housing schemes throughout the district.

Conservative Shadow spokesman for Homes and Planning, Councillor Liz Richardson said:

“This £3 million fund was established by local Conservatives nearly five years ago with the specific aim of supporting the delivery of much-needed affordable homes for our area. It cannot be right that the Lib Dems have allowed this money to be left unused for so long when there is a desperate need for more affordable homes.

“Our proposal therefore calls for this money to be released from this reserve to support the building of more affordable homes on brownfield developments in our area.”

Councillor Charles Gerrish, Conservative shadow spokesman for Resources, added:

“The Affordable Housing Reserve was originally set up with the intention of supporting the affordable housing element of Western Riverside. However, the Council has been able to use Right to Buy receipts to fund this instead. That means that this fund could be freed-up to enable a higher number of affordable homes to be built within other major developments, such as Foxhill, Somerdale, Radstock or elsewhere. But at the moment this money is being left unused and its value eroded by inflation in the building sector.”