How we kept our 2016 promises

We’ve worked with the private sector and housing associations to deliver an average of 120 affordable homes every year, a total of 673 since 2016.

Central government sets housing numbers for our area and we have led in Gloucestershire in having an agreed Local Plan in place to protect communities wherever possible from speculative housing applications. Stroud’s 2015 Local Plan was Highly Commended in the South West regional awards 2017. We support towns and parishes to develop their own local neighbourhood plans.
The current Local Plan is under review and due for adoption in 2021 before submission to a government inspection. A requirement of 30% affordable housing has been included in the existing and the plan under review.

How we kept our 2016 promises

COMPLETED THE FIVE YEAR NEW BUILD PROGRAMME ON TIME
✅  The £22m five year new build programme of council homes has been completed on time, building 239, with plans for 111 more.

INVESTED £100m INTO COUNCIL AND AFFORDABLE HOMES SINCE 2012
✅  Since 2012 we’ve invested £100m into council and affordable homes: repairs, maintenance and new build.
This is despite central government imposing measures that have restricted our ability to build and increase the housing stock: such as the imposed 1% rent reduction, the borrowing cap, which have now been lifted and allowed an increase again in building new homes.
The increased discount on Right to Buy and the failure to halt this, as in Wales, has meant it is difficult to increase the housing stock due to sales increasing.

How we kept our 2016 promises

SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS AND COMMUNITY-LED HOUSING
✅  Supported Community Land Trusts with land and grants to deliver local homes for local people
in Nailsworth and Eastington – and support for community-led housing is now embedded into the council’s housing strategy and the draft Local Plan.

FUNDED A RURAL HOUSING ENABLER ROLE
✅  Supported rural affordable housing by funding a Rural Housing Enabler post and working in partnership with Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) to support and develop community-led housing.

MADE IT EASIER TO BE INCLUDED ON THE SELF-BUILD REGISTER
✅  Reduced fees for inclusion on the Council’s Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Register.

How we kept our 2016 promises

ONLY GLOUCESTERSHIRE LOCAL AUTHORITY TO STILL OWN & MANAGE COUNCIL HOUSING
✅  Labour-led Stroud District Council is the only local authority in Gloucestershire which still owns and manages council houses, with the others having transferred them into other social housing organisations.

MODERNISING SHELTERED HOUSING SCHEMES ACROSS THE DISTRICT
✅  Sheltered housing schemes are being modernised across the district
so as to meet the highest standards of independent living for the over 55s, with dedicated staff to support more vulnerable residents.

How we kept our 2016 promises

BETTER REPRESENTATION FOR TENANTS
✅ 
We changed the constitution so tenant representatives could sit on the Housing Committee in order that tenant voices are heard and included in council decisions.

RENOVATED AND REPAIRED HUNDREDS OF COUNCIL HOMES
✅ 
Renovated and repaired hundreds of council homes including new renewable energy heating systems, solar panels and air source heat pumps, boiler upgrades and external wall insulation.

RETROFITTING ENERGY-EFFICIENCY MEASURES TO HOUSING STOCK PILOT
✅  
Pilot project to retrofit energy efficiency measures within the Council’s housing stock is being developed, working with the Gloucestershire Community Energy Co-operative.

How we kept our 2016 promises

ADOPTED THE OLDER PERSON’S HEALTH & HOUSING PLAN
✅  In 2017, we adopted the Older Person’s Health and Housing Plan with 10 actions relating to living well with long term conditions, tackling social isolation, supporting local transport solutions, improving cold, damp or dangerous homes and delivering better housing options for older age.

The first year’s action plan of the Council’s Older People’s Housing Strategy was fully implemented in 2019 / 2020.

SUPPORT GRANTS FOR DISABLED RESIDENTS TO MAKE ALTERATIONS TO THEIR HOMES
✅  Every year SDC supports Disabled Facilities Grants applications for residents who need to make alterations to their homes due to a disability.
This allows many older residents to live independently in their own homes. Without the support of the District DFG team many residents would not be able to access the funding.

DEVELOPED A STRATEGY TO HELP PREVENT HOMELESSNESS
✅ 
Homelessness has been increasing both nationally and locally before the pandemic, and the pandemic has worsened the situation. SDC has a number of statutory duties to prevent homelessness, including carrying out a review of homelessness in the area and developing a homelessness strategy. Stroud District Council has performed consistently well compared to other councils in the South West especially in the prevention of homelessness.

Stroud District Council offers a variety of support for people at risk of being made homeless where a council property is not an option.
The Housing Advice team funds temporary rented accommodation, offers free relationship counselling to avoid family break up, support with deposit costs and agency fees and helps resolve other tenancy issues.

ALLOCATED FUNDS FOR THE PURCHASE OF PROPERTIES FOR TEMPORARY HOMELESS ACCOMMODATION
✅  An extra £500,000 has been allocated to buy properties for temporary homeless accommodation.
Throughout the pandemic, a priority has been to protect the homeless and rough sleepers most at risk, working closely with other councils and agencies, and where possible funding alternative accommodation that is not hotel based.
In 2021 the Next Steps Accommodation Programme bid successful which covers funds for the purchase of 4 flats for former rough sleepers.

HELP FOR OVER 55s TO MOVE AND DOWNSIZE
✅  Moving Home Grant available to help tenants over 55 downsize with moving costs.

HELP TENANTS OF ALL AGES EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL HARDSHIP
✅  Welfare Mitigation fund was created to help tenants of all ages experiencing financial hardship downsize
including moving costs or clearance of debt due to bedroom tax.

How we kept our 2016 promises

WORKING WITH REGIONAL PARTNERS TO SUPPORT PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES
✅  Worked closely with Gloucestershire health and social care providers to support people in their homes
and provide grants for disabled facilities and healthy and warm homes.

ASSISTANCE FOR HOMEOWNERS AND TENANTS
✅  Labour-led Stroud District Council’s Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy outlines assistance for homeowners and tenants
living in the private rented sector for interventions that will make a difference to their wellbeing or address health inequalities.
Assistance can be in the form of grants, loans, advice, materials or to directly carry out work for the repairing, improving, extending, converting or adapting housing accommodation.

WON EXTERNAL FUNDING FOR HEATING HOMES
✅  Since 2012 £12m external funding won to make people’s homes warm, energy efficient and using renewable energy sources for council tenants, homeowners and landlords,
especially focussed on those at risk of ill health due to living in colder homes.

THE “WARM AND WELL” FUND HAS HELPED HUNDREDS OF HOMEOWNERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
✅  The Warm and Well fund has helped hundreds of homeowners and small businesses with advice on energy efficiency and the installation of measures including first time central heating.
SDC facilitate ‘Healthy Homes Loans’ that enable residents to tackle serious hazards in their homes like dangerous cold and falls hazards.

How we kept our 2016 promises

HELP AND ADVICE FOR OWNERS OF EMPTY PROPERTIES TO HELP GET THEM BACK INTO USE
✅  Free help and advice given to owners of empty properties as well as interest-free loans towards renovation and repair costs.
In 2020 and 2021 persistent long term empty properties will see premiums on their council tax rise by up to 300%.

Find out more about how Labour goes #AboveAndBeyond to deliver for the whole of Stroud District

“You can trust Labour in Stroud District to keep our promises, so help us keep up the good work and support us with your vote for LABOUR on May 6.”

Cllr Doina Cornell, Leader of the Stroud District Labour Group

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