Hightown Flats are blocks of flats in Wrecsam built in 1970 which have become structurally not fit for purpose. Both the residents and Council officers and members were agreed that the flats be demolished and this was passed at the Executive Board on the 3rd November. The remaining tenants of the 186 properties to be demolished will be 'decanted' to properties in other parts of the County Borough. They will be given management points which will give the residents of these flats priority over those on the existing housing waiting list. Many of the people who will be moved have expressed a desire to be rehoused in Hightown but there are very few other council properties available in the area with only 6 or 7 voids in the Whitegate ward every year.
In view of the fact that there is already a very high demand for social housing and decanting residents will only exacberate that situation; I made a suggestion that the Council should utilise properties in the private sector. The Chief Officer would not contemplate the use of empty homes in the private sector. Now if I knew why perhaps I could accept the decision but I have never been given a valid reason.
The private sector would in fact be ideal as next door to Hightown Flats is Corunna Court a private developments which are empty which would suit the people who wish to stay in Hightown and would also reduce pressure on the housing waiting list in Wrecsam.
These partnerships between the public and private sector can work as the partnership between Plus Dane Housing Association and Grosvenor Estates in Liverpool One testifies
If we are ever going to address the problem of housing shortage in Wales we need to collaborate more to facilitate partnerships between our Housing Associations and the private sector. Perhaps someone will tell us where the blockage is, Assembly or Local Government.