Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council have welcomed a decision at last week’s Full Council meeting to take the next step in enabling the local authority to start building houses and flats in the bay for sale and rent. This is possible because the council can borrow the money at historically low rates of interest and use this to help meet housing needs in the bay.
The Liberal Democrat group leader, Steve Darling, said: "This is something we have been campaigning for the council to do for many years. The reason why the council have come round to this idea is to provide an income- generating stream, but if handled correctly this can achieve much much more, such as opportunities for employment and training, as well as opportunities for local businesses. Because we have less than half the national average of units of affordable social housing in Torbay the deficiency has mostly been filled by poor quality private housing. With the council engaging in the rented housing market there is an opportunity to raise standards by it potentially becoming the landlord of choice. "
Tormohun Liberal Democrat councillor Mandy Darling said: "I am delighted that the council have made this decision. There are some real challenges with poor quality flats and bedsits that need sorting out in our town centres. I am aware that in Blackpool they used a similar initiative to take poor quality bedsits out of the market and improved the quality of housing. This will not happen overnight, but we will continue to challenge the council to ensure that issues like this are tackled."
Cllr Steve Darling 07736658666
Cllr Mandy Darling 07919566606