Oxford City Council Draft Housing Strategy (2015-2018) [Consultation Closed]

Oxford City Council (OCC) invited responses to it’s Draft Housing Strategy 2015-2018 between November 2014 and January 2015. We had a read through of the Draft and, whilst many of the points are promising, there is very little in the way of real, creative solutions to the housing crisis.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  1. Read the 8-page Draft Housing Strategy Summary here – (or there is the 53-page full draft strategy)
  1. Respond –  You can respond to this consultation by filling in the online questionnaire. The more people we can get to do this, the more emphasis there will be behind our requests. There is only 500 words for comment so if you have any additional comments send them directly to ngriffiths@oxford.gov.uk [The consultation has now closed]
  1. A group of us are in the process of contributing to a People’s Housing Strategy (2015-2065) which will extend to after the consultation deadline. If you would like to help with this please get in touch at info@houseofthecommons.org

 

We think that a Housing Strategy in the UK’s least affordable city should include :

Affordability

– OCC should lead the way as the UK’s first ‘Living Rent Council’ by linking affordability to local wages not the market value. Council housing stock should be no more than a third of median income.

Tackling supply: housing for all

– Increase supply by starting a major council housing programme which will be able to adequately meet future social need.

– Increase taxation on long-term empty homes (around 300 in the City) and second homes (1000 in the City)

– Encouraging new ways of building homes which aren’t reliant on the private sector, such as public-community partnerships

Sustainable Communities 

– OCC should support the creation of a ‘sustainable city’ by partnering with long-view community-led organisations like Housing Cooperatives and Community Land Trusts

– Creating a revolving community loan facility and supporting new cooperative housing to give tenants more control over the properties they live in, giving communities the opportunity to deliver permanently affordable homes.

Transparency

– More data should be published on the ownership of public land and property so that citizens can have a say in how it should be used

– Major developments carry out viability studies to prove that they would not be able to make sufficient profit when having to carry out affordable housing obligations. These studies should be published for public scrutiny.

Language

– OCC should not be adding to the further financialisation of our homes by referring to our city as a ‘housing market’

A local interest group called Symposium on Sustainability (SoS) have created a document that responds to the Draft Housing Strategy in more detail,  you can download this document here.