Green councillors in Exeter have slammed the Labour-led Council for failing to meet its own affordable housing targets for the city. They also accuse Labour of being too ready to grant planning permission for greenfield developments, and of pushing expensive co-living bedsits in the city centre.
The Green Party has said all its councillors will pledge to push for the Right Homes in the Right Place at the Right Price in Exeter. The pledge comes as co-leaders, Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, launch the Green Party’s local election campaign in Stowmarket. They are calling for councillors and national government to work together to deliver the homes people need and can afford to rent and buy, where people need them.
Green Councillor Diana Moore emphasised the importance of the Right Price:
“Labour set a target for 35% of all new housing in Exeter to be affordable but over the last ten years with only 19%  affordable homes built, they are woefully off target. The city has seen the highest rent increases of anywhere in England in the last five years yet salaries are amongst the lowest in the UK. Exeter needs councillors who will push for more affordable housing. Green councillors are fully committed to this.”
Green Party candidate for Newtown and St Leonard’s, Andy Ketchin, stressed how crucial building the Right Homes is:
“Labour are promoting expensive-to-rent co-living bedsits in giant blocks overshadowing existing communities. Green councillors oppose co-living bedsits and back a variety of decent housing built to the highest environmental standards. We need homes to buy or rent that are comfortable, warm and reduce running costs for occupants while helping the city reduce its carbon emissions.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Carol Bennett called for homes to be build in the Right Place:
“There are too many developments on greenfield sites on the edge of the city, which destroy our precious green spaces and are reliant on the car because they lack local services and public transport. We need to prioritise building homes primarily on brownfield sites with easy access to where people work, shop, go to school, or college and take part in leisure activities, and with the right supporting infrastructure to enable them to travel efficiently and safely without a car. Green councillors will push for housing in the right place.”
Speaking ahead of the local election launch event, Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer, who is also a councillor in Bristol, said:
“Up and down the country, people are experiencing the same problems - homes that are unaffordable to buy, unaffordable to rent and unaffordable to heat. There is a generation of people who are trapped in the private rental market by spiralling rents that bear no relationship to incomes. Everyone deserves a place that they can call home. That is why our Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price Charter will deliver the change we want to see across the housing sector and create fairer, greener communities.”