Labour supporter Carol Hayton gave a long diatribe in last week’s County Times which talked down the record of our Conservative-led District Council’s successes in relation to housing.
I felt it appropriate that readers should be apprised of the reality of the facts surrounding housing, which is part of my Cabinet member’s portfolio.
To go into print without any appreciation or understanding of the dedicated hard work our housing team have undertaken in order to set up our new Affordable Housing Company is regrettable to say the least, and for those readers who would like to know the true position regarding housing in our District, I set out the following.
Horsham District Council has provided the highest number of affordable homes in the whole of West Sussex and we will continue to do our very best for those in housing need in our District. The numbers on the housing register of people looking for affordable housing are decreasing year by year.
We are launching a new Affordable Housing Company which will be investing £10m to provide additional homes. We shall also continue to work closely with registered housing associations and we have recently secured 84 more affordable rental properties.
People arriving at the council’s offices who are homeless are either housed in HDC’s own accommodation or housed in bed and breakfast places until they can be offered temporary housing. The aim is to then move them into permanent accommodation.
Every authority has to report the number of rough sleepers and at the last count we had 11 in our district. Every single one of these people is engaged closely by our superb team of specialist officers who are always available and offer useful assistance whilst working towards housing them.
Ms Hayton, at some length, mentions a gentleman who wishes to remain living in accommodation without sanitation as an example of a homeless person and criticises our housing team. She really should apprise herself of the amount of engagement that Mr Tremmel has had with our housing team whose help he has sadly decided not to take.
All council members work closely with officers to achieve the best that can be done for all our residents and to read a letter such as that from Ms Hayton full of such unjustified negativity is disheartening for those of us who, irrespective of political views, care deeply for those in need for our District.
(Con, Itchingfield, Sllinfold and Warnham), Cabinet Member for Community and Wellbeing, Horsham District Council, Chart Way, Horsham