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Selling off affordable housing has to stop!

June 13, 2019 1:30 PM
Originally published by Shropshire Liberal Democrats


Residents and Councillors in the west of the County have expressed anger and concern at the news that South Shropshire Housing Association is selling off another property in Bucknell rather return it to the rental market.

Shropshire Councillor for Clun, Nigel Hartin, said: " I am really concerned about the Housing Association's strategy in rural Shropshire. Over the last couple of years we have seen the housing association try to sell off houses in Lydham and St Catherine's flats in Clun. The Housing Association have also seriously let down local residents in regard to the four properties at Amblecote (between Betws y Crwyn and Anchor) where they have decided to auction the properties despite apparently agreeing with the parish to sell to local people.

"They are now proposing to sell a 2 bed bungalow in Weston Road Bucknell rather than return it to the rental market.

"A number of local people have expressed interest in this small bungalow which recently became vacant due to the death of its elderly resident, however it now appears this will be another desperately needed small rural property which will be removed from SSHA stock!

"The issue here is twofold. First, we are desperately short of affordable housing for young families in rural areas. We need many more such properties not less. Second, we don't see the housing association re-investing the money obtained by these sales in our communities. In Worthen, for example, 8 properties were demolished in Old Mill Close and the land sold to developers. Despite promises, none of the profits have been re-invested in the community in the form of new homes."

Nigel concluded: "To add insult to injury the Housing Association is building new affordable homes in urban areas like Shrewsbury and Hereford whilst conducting a policy of denuding rural communities of their affordable homes. This can only end up forcing young families out of rural areas into the towns and to me it looks like a conscious decision by Connexus group to do this!"

The South Shropshire Local Joint Committee voted last night to send a strong letter to the Housing Association stressing the damage they were doing to rural communities.