When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
1,200 homes are approved but targets will be missed
HOUSING bosses have admitted they are nowhere near hitting their cheaper homes building targets.
Oxford City Council has hailed a “Super September” of planning approvals for projects across the city that would eventually see 1,204 new homes.
A total of 614 of these would be so-called affordable homes, which could see them rented at 80 per cent of market value or sold below market prices.
But the authority says it has only built 36 new homes this year against an annual target of 220 and has come under fire for not building enough homes now.
Debbie Hollingsworth, 49, lives near Kidlington as she cannot afford to live in the city close to her job as an outreach worker in Blackbird Leys.
She has been on the housing waiting list for 11 years.
She said: “If they’re not building the amount of houses they’re supposed to be building, let alone the number they need to build to house the thousands of people on the waiting list, it’s not good enough.
“They should be meeting their targets every year. It’s no good saying there are going to be all these houses built next year and the year after, because as we are sitting here there are people who are very vulnerably housed.”
The council also says its capital investment in council housing also currently stands at £3,450,451, way behind a target of £19,054,000 the council intends to meet by April next year.
But it insists it will catch up in the long-term on its building plans.
Council spokesman Chris Lee said: “The capital investment in council housing measure includes investment in the council’s own stock and spend on the new build programme of council housing.
“The investment programmes for our own stock, for example roofs, windows, replacement heating systems, kitchens and bathrooms, are going well and will achieve full spend.
“The spend on the council new build programmes includes sites across the city, including Barton West, and will be spread across a number of years.
“All are going to plan and the financial spend profiles just need adjustment to reflect a more accurate average across several years.”
Most of the homes approved in Super September will contribute to house building targets in future years, not in 2013/14.
Mr Lee said: “Despite the housing market in Oxford remaining strong, completions are not at the levels we would like to see and this is largely beyond our control.”
Comments are closed on this article.