Portsmouth City Council Leader Gerald Vernon Jackson wants our city to do more to help families find a home that meets their needs. He shares the story of a local family with four children he met recently who are currently living in a two bedroom flat because the council does not have a suitable property to offer them.
'Last week a family came to see me, and their story broke my heart.
They were a fairly ordinary family of mum, dad and four children. But what broke my heart is that they lived in a two bedroomed flat in a tower block and this was putting real pressure on them as a family. They came to me as they wanted a three bedroomed flat to bring up their children. A reasonable request you would have thought.
Sadly, I had to say that the City Council at the moment doesn't have anything to offer them. The Council has been forced to sell off over 16,000 council properties. This has been great for the people who bought them. But the Conservative and Labour Governments didn't replace these homes, in fact they stopped this happening. That means now the City Council has 16,000 fewer houses and flats to offer to families.
The Lib Dem run City Council has built new council housing, but after a 30 year break it is just not enough. Families like the one I met still have little chance of a council flat that meets the needs of their family. As a Lib Dem run council we are taking action. We are not only building new council housing, we are buying properties around the city to provide places for families in need to live in. We are mainly buying back ex council properties as its easier to manage with the other council houses and flats.
The problem is huge, but this is the sort of practical action that our Lib Dem council is taking to solve problems imposed on us by Governments over the years.
The Lib Dems nationally have committed to ending 'no fault' evictions and to investigate the private rental market to find the best solutions that support good tenants, allowing them to rent decent homes from good landlords.
We will continue to take these actions, and explore others so that families can find suitable homes in our city.'