Saturday, 7 November 2009

Hightown Flats

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.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the council took over 200 flats in Wrexham to house those on the waiting lists and each occupier paid £18 per week council tax, the council tax alone would be £172,000 not to mention the rent of about £300 per month (less than market value), £720,000 per annum going into the local economy. These officers cannot think outside the box!

Dave Vandweller said...

With so many people on the waiting list and refered to housing assocatiosn i fear aback door to gaining a big percentage of housing people. RSL's housing assocations allready are investing heavley in x council housing on estates, it appears the so called part ownership in housing assocations wasnt the ... Read morebest of ideas in this economic crisis.
How many people can afford part ownership?
I would totally disagree with any part in housing assocations the rents are above those set out by WAG, in some parts of wrexham the rents are about £15 a week higher then those of the council.
What is needed is more council housing ,allready we have seen in other parts of the country, councils building more houses, not affordable,which people can not invest in.

Dave Vandweller said...

http://www.crewechronicle.co.uk/crewe-news/local-crewe-news/2009/10/07/sandbach-residents-lodge-official-complaint-against-the-town-s-main-housing-association-96135-24867361/

Dave Vandweller said...

The only reason Grosvenor Estates are renting these flats,and to working people only,is becuase they could not forcast people are not buying them.
While this would be a short term and i say a good idea, arfon has said renting from the private sector,i feel our council want to give housing assocationa abigger part in the housing ,i could be wrong... Read more. But it appears our council dont care and in fact have been given ample choices to resolve the shortfall in council housing by building more houses, as Aled roberts said, we may have to off load our council housing stock to RSL/Housing assocations, the people in the last vote said no, im still saying housing assocations are going through the back door, there buying at a very fast rate in the county

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

I don't think people care who provides the housing anymore than I do, they just want housing. Housing Associations are not perfect and neither are the Council. So I think you're missing the point, it's innovative partnerships with the private sector or nothing; because there is no money for anything else!

Dave Vandweller said...

If the council look at
http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/

and what defend council housing and a lot of ,MP's have been working on there is in fact a way forward,but it appears our council are ignoring or have not been informed of such pla

Linda Subacchi said...

Don't forget that there are real people with feelings about to loose their homes!!!!! and don't think the anti-social behaviour will disappear OH NO !!!!!!!!!!!! Get real Arfon people do care who provide their homes... and they need truths and comittment from the council and not to be off loaded like a load of sheep ( as thou they were moving from 1 field to the next) promising and taking.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Linda - The residents of Hightown Flats WERE consulted and 80%+ wanted to move and see the flats demolished and a substantial number wanted to remain in Hightown. Cllr George James complimented the Council in the constructive and sensitive way it had consulted with residents. There were several residents at the Exec Board meeting and there were ... Read moreeven more at the Joint Scrutiny meeting to discuss options, werte you at either those meetings? Did you support residents wishes at Offa Community Council?
The point I am making is that by only using void social housing in the County Borough, it could take years before the flats are demolished and new housing built in their place and that will mean more on the housing lists. So I think you are the one in need of a reality check and to stop whingeing and try to come up with something positive for a change.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Above 7 comments are from readers comments on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Plaid G's comments are yet another example of Plaid becoming a new labour clone."Deals" with the private sector are the very thing that has destroyed our communities and wrecked the planet.
He should spend some time on the defend council housing site and start to fight for real social housing instead of listening to to the bullshit that is put out by the privateers.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Just being pragmatic, the flats in the private sector are already there, the social housing won't be built until the Hightown flats are demolished which is years away. What does Anon think is important ideology or practicalities to house people?

Plaid Queensway said...

This seems pretty straight forward to me. We know that thousands of local people need houses. We also know that many of the new unaffordable developments are currently sitting empty. It's about time these new builds started to benefit local people. Given that many are close to the Hightown flats and would allow local people to stay in the area, I think it's crazy that this option has not even been considered. I'd much prefer that these new builds were not there at all, but seeing as they are, let's get some positive benefits for the local community out of them.