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Letter to the editor | Labour council homes

Dear Editor

 

I was interested to read in your article, on Friday, September 27, that Labour now want council houses built and run by the council.

 

This was the case many years ago until the council, not sure if it was Labour or Conservative then, who sold off all their council housing to a housing association, Martlet Housing. They were subsequently taken over by The Hyde Group, a supposedly non-profit making association.

 

Since Hyde got involved, I have been concerned about the cost of service charges and the service provided. Hyde’s profits have risen, even though they tell us that they can no longer afford to subsidise service charges relating to fire safety, which I maintain is the responsibility of the landlord, not the tenant.

 

Hyde is a huge organisation with a turnover of staff in quick succession, that usually means concerns get passed from one department to another and residents left with never dealing with one person, and increasingly going round in ever decreasing circles until you give up in disgust.

 

I believe the council sold to the housing association on the understanding that they would continue to build affordable housing. There is a difference between affordable and social housing as pointed out in your article. Affordable housing is only affordable if you can afford the prices charged in Chichester, which are sky high. How many houses for rent are being built by Hyde? Are the rents affordable?

 

I’m pleased that the Labour councillors have brought this subject to the fore and hope that the recommendations will be considered and not just talked about ad in finitum until eventually being discarded in the usual way of councils.

 

I have my doubts that the council will ‘go backwards’ and take social housing under their wing once again, but maybe they should keep an eye on what’s happening with Hyde.

 

Yours sincerely
Joan Barrowcliffe
Bosham

Posted in Letters.