Better Housing for All
Oxford has average home prices of over £420,000 and average room rents at £571 per month. Oxford is losing nurses and teachers as their rates of pay are too low for local housing costs.
One key factor is the consistent failure of the Labour City Council to address this. Voting Green is key to obtaining the right types of homes to meet the needs of people who live, work, study and take refuge from conflict in Oxford.
- Pressured Oxford City Council to buy 50 homes for homeless families.
- Took the lead in a 10 year campaign to introduce a Licensing Scheme for Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) improving the quality of rented accommodation.
- Ensured the provision of affordable housing on urban sites and demanded more council housing.
- Introduced the rule that all new housing developments should include 50% affordable housing.
- Convinced the Council to adopt new affordable housing indicators to drive up the number of social homes.
- Chaired the Housing Panel at the time when the Council adopted the new Oxford Standard-giving higher quality accommodation to council tenants.
- Argued for the £10 million partnership deal with St Mungo Broadway social letting agency to provide more affordable accommodation.
- Pushed the City to consider a detailed proposal to build housing above its Park and Ride sites.
- Prepare a Green housing budget with resources for local needs.
- Take every opportunity to increase the amount of social housing and commonly owned housing as representing the best way to ensure availability of affordable housing and continue to press for an end to Right to Buy.
- Reject the Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Oxfordshire as not fit for purpose.
- Fight for all housing developments above 10 units to have a 50% proportion dedicated to social housing with an additional 10% for key workers including part-rent, part-buy opportunities.
- Press for social housing rent freezes to help our poorest households or at least rent increases no greater than inflation.
- Prioritise social housing and key worker housing needs in Oxford to be met on available brownfield sites, rather than additional retail and hotel development.
- Campaign for the proportion of available City resources allocated to low cost housing options to increase, including establishing a new deal for people who live on boats at residential moorings to keep costs down.
- Encourage council officers to work with the private rented sector to reduce housing costs to an average of no more than 30% of household income with a view to reducing this to 25% in the long-term.
- Instruct council officers to draw up registers of all empty property in the area and formulate strategies for its use.
- Plan for surface car parks/park and ride car parks to be considered for dual use: parking at ground level with apartments above and look into use of industrial derelict sites and empty commercial properties for potential to meet housing needs.
On Student Accommodation
- Seek to ensure that students are provided with purpose-built accommodation.
- Design a strategy in cooperation with the University and Oxford Brookes to ensure no more than 3000 students are living in the private rented sector, which is policy CS25 of the current City Core Strategy. With this reduction to 3000, the potential gain to the City would be about 1000 properties for rent to nonstudents.
On Housebuilding Standards
- Prioritise more eco-friendly Council Housing, trying to protect tenants’ security of tenure, and links between families and communities.
- Support insulation publicity campaigns and grants to low income households to encourage energy efficiency;
- Continue to press for sustainable development in emerging area plans such as the West Barton Housing Scheme.
On Housing Management, Co-operatives & Protection of Tenants
- Support the formation of council run letting agencies – free from unfair letting agency fees for tenants and pushing up standards in rented housing.
- When budgets permit, resources for establishing more comprehensive housing advice centres will be found and existing legislation will also be more strictly enforced.
- Greens will continue support for the Houses in Multiple Occupation registration scheme, subject to adequate resources, ensuring 100% of relevant properties are covered by the schemes rather than 50% as at present.
This summary contains on party of the Green Party's vision for Oxford. Return to the full version of this manifesto for more options.