Local Liberal Democrats have consistently campaigned for more affordable homes in Oxford and will continue to do so.
Key sites have been neglected by the City Council, meanwhile, sites which should have been 50% affordable housing have been let off the hook by wealthy developers with sharp elbows.
You only have to look at the Westgate development to see what the Council's current priorities are. Despite prior commitments on affordable homes, houses have been demolished to make way for luxury apartments, with the latest one to go priced at £410,000.
With the Oxpens development just around the corner, we need to scrap the Council's obsession with more shops and restaurants with low-paying jobs and build more affordable homes so people can actually afford to live in Oxford.
1. We will revisit potential housing sites in the city, including those previously rejected. This will allow for hundreds more houses to be developed across the city.
2. We will push for all sites to have a balance of at least 50% affordable or social homes. No developers will get away with failing to fulfil their promises; no more bulldozing affordable homes for luxury flats.
3. We will look into an ‘Oxford Affordability’ rating. This will more accurately represent what is affordable for Oxford residents, as opposed to the way ‘affordability’ is currently calculated, having no bearing on actual affordability.
4. We will look into planning policy surrounding second homes. New developments should be for those first getting on the housing ladder.
5. We will support a review of Oxford’s Green Belt. New sites on the outskirts of the city will be taken into consideration, but we will still ensure that no areas of natural, historic, or scientific interest are destroyed in this process.
Oxford should be a city open for all, not just rich homeowners. We don’t need more low-paid development growth in the city, but we desperately need more places to live. Social housing must also not be neglected, and must not be sold off or destroyed for more offices.
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