Thurrock Council passes Labour motion on new council housing

Oliver Gerrish 17

Thurrock Council passes Labour motion on new council housing

OCTOBER’S full council meeting agreed a motion from Thurrock Labour leader Oliver Gerrish calling for urgent action to supply more council homes. The motion called on the government to either directly finance more council house-building, or to change the rules to allow councils to invest in new council properties.

Speaking on the motion, Councillor Gerrish said “The chronic lack of council housing in Thurrock is well documented. There are some 8,000 people on our waiting list.

“The sad truth is that if you are a lower priority in the allocation scheme, and want just a one bedroom property, the average waiting time is 14 years.

“We talk a lot about the importance of affordable housing for our residents in Thurrock. The fundamental truth is that there is no better affordable housing than council housing. Even better, with council housing we have the control to ensure that it is Thurrock residents who benefit from any new builds.”

The council meeting agreed the motion, which also called for the council’s Housing Committee to look at other ways more council housing could be made available.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Gerrish said “I’m very pleased that my motion was agreed by council. This is a hugely important issue for Thurrock residents, including those who are seeing ballooning private rental costs. I want to live in a country where council housing is just as accessible to young people getting a job and leaving home for the first time as it is to those with high priority housing needs.”

“To move in that direction, the council needs either direct investment from the government, or rule changes to let us do it ourselves. This motion asked government to get on with it.”

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