During a full council debate on 7th July 2020 Solihull and Meriden Liberal Democrats spoke out on the need for more social housing in the borough.
The debate on social housing was proposed by Green Party Cllr Shahin Ashraf with the submission topic, "To debate the strategic vision for the provision for social housing in Solihull".
Despite a social housing waiting list of over 2500 people in the borough, over the 2020/21 financial year just 43 new homes, 29 of which would be shared ownership and 14 for rent will be built. There will be additional "affordable housing" on private developments, but the sales teams of most of these developments advise that a deposit of £16,000 and above will be needed to purchase on the Help to Buy scheme. This is clearly out of reach for most with housing need in the borough.
During the debate Lib Dem Olton Cllr Jo Fairburn said,
"We Liberal Democrats support the Greens in their desire for a new vision for Solihull. I echo a lot of what has been said already and say when everybody involved in this council comes together we can achieve great things. We have seen this during the pandemic; our council has risen to the challenge.
I'm sure that like me, we've all gone out and clapped for our NHS, our carers, and our key workers. I'm also sure that some of the lowest paid amongst these heroes would give up all that clapping for a genuinely affordable home in the borough.
Sadly that is out of reach for too many NHS staff, care workers, and other key workers. So what we have to say is let's come together and create an ambitious vision for social housing in Solihull. Thank you."
Elmdon Councillor Laura McCarthy then shared her own recent experience with almost becoming homeless and the impact it had on her family. You can watch her speech on Youtube here: Laura McCarthy on Social Housing.
You can read an article about Laura's intervention and the housing debate here: Birmingham Live
We will continue to push for an increase in social housing in the borough to ensure that everyone in the borough has a safe and secure home to call their own.
You can watch the full debate live here: Full council
The debate starts after 1:35 minutes.