Living Norwich. Good homes for all

Having a secure roof over your head and a warm, comfortable home is fundamental to health and well-being. Good housing enables families to flourish, children to thrive and older people to live in dignity. Norwich Labour has a proud record of providing homes and this is something we are committed to continuing, despite the Tory government attacks and cuts to local government.

A Labour City Council will:

  1. Build on the success of the Goldsmith St, Rayne Park and Bullard Road by continuing our proud tradition of building good quality council homes. Over the next 5 years we have identified a pipeline of sites and will be building approximately 250 new homes for social rent at Argyle Street, Three Score Phase three, the Mile Cross depot site and on the site of the old King’s Arms. We will investigate and use modern methods of construction and off-site construction wherever possible and build to high environmental standards, in some cases using Passivhaus principles whilst also exploring the possibility of zero carbon developments when the opportunities arise.  We will continue our work with Registered Providers to support them wherever possible to build further much needed affordable housing within the city.

 

  1. Using our in-house team, we will continue to provide a first-class tenure neutral disabled adaptations service across council and private properties within the city.

 

  1. Begin an assessment of our council properties with a view to planning a retrofitting programme across our stock to reduce carbon emissions and household energy bills. Continue the programme to improve loft insulation, the installation of thermodynamic hot water systems and to explore the opportunities for the installation of solar panels on our tenants’ roofs to improve energy efficiency and to combat fuel poverty.

 

  1. Continue to develop our pioneering work to support rough sleepers in moving off the streets through our creative Pathways partnership arrangements. Despite more than a decade of Tory austerity leading to a rise in homelessness and rough sleeping, we will continue with our promise to those who need our help. Not only for people who have nowhere to stay, but also those housed but living with complex needs that need significant, intensive, and tailored support. We will continue to take a central role in the multi partnership arrangement under the Make Every Adult Matter initiative. We will continue to collaborate with the excellent Norwich homelessness charities such as St Martins Housing Trust.

 

  1. Wherever possible use our new local housing company, Norwich Regeneration Limited, to deliver the council’s programme of growth and investment including new housing for rent and purchase.

 

  1. We will continue to deliver the programme of delivering the completion of the ‘Norwich Standard’, which is supplying a programme of upgrades and maintenance, including new kitchens, bathrooms, windows, and doors. Continue to work with the fire and rescue services to make sure all our tenants remain safe – wherever they live.

 

  1. Continue to provide our tenants with specialist money advice and financial inclusion support to help meet the enormous challenges posed by the Tory attacks on the welfare agenda – bedroom tax, universal credit, benefit cap and housing benefit changes for young people.

 

  1. Support our tenants in sheltered housing to live independently and in good housing, despite reckless, damaging, short sighted cuts to supported housing by the Tory run Norfolk County Council.

 

  1. Endeavour to bring down the cost of private rents by expanding the supply of all types of low-cost private and non-council sector housing.

 

  1. We will protect private renters in our city. There is no place for rogue landlords in our fine city as our action on St Faith’s Lane most recently demonstrates. We will use all powers, impose significant fines, and pursue legal proceedings where appropriate. Almost a quarter of Norwich’s citizens live in private rented housing. Under Labour the City Council are developing a Private Renters Charter to force landlords to deliver safe, secure, well-managed and energy efficient housing. Building on this, in 2022, we will continue to develop our private sector housing service and HMO licensing service, exploring the use of additional or selective licensing to drive up standards beyond the statutory scheme to improve the quality of far more homes across the city. Ultimately, our clear aim is to go further and propose a licensing scheme for the entire private rented sector, with a requirement to meet a ‘Norwich Standard’ for high quality accommodation. This will protect all tenants, improve standards across the sector, and make sure that good landlords and agents are not undercut by bad ones. Labour has also put in place housing advice for residents, challenged illegal evictions and provided support to keep people housed. We have campaigned for tenants’ rights, including the right to secure tenancies and to continue the ban on evictions, to prevent anyone losing their home because of the pandemic.

 

  1. Keep taking tough measures, including compulsory purchase, to bring empty homes and sites back into use wherever possible, such as the former Kings Arms site in Mile Cross, where work began in October 2021 to build much needed social housing.

 

  1. Deliver disabled facilities grants and financial assistance to vulnerable owner-occupiers and renters to tackle inadequate housing conditions and to enable people to continue to live in their own homes.
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