- Victory for Max in homes campaign as £100million set to be invested for young people and families.
- Liberal Democrat borough council to invest £100million in homes for young people and families.
- Move follows successful motion to council by Cheltenham parliamentary candidate Max Wilkinson.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Cheltenham Max Wilkinson is claiming victory in a key campaign after council chiefs committed to investing £100million in homes for young people and families.
In the wake of the local elections, the borough council is preparing to make the investment, which follows a motion to council by Max last year. Max has made raising the housing plight of young people and families a key part of his local campaigns to ensure Cheltenham remains a vibrant and competitive place into the future.
The money will be invested in homes to rent affordably on secure long-term contracts, which will help younger people who struggle with high rents and insecure accommodation.There’s also potential for some of the properties to be available on a shared ownership model for those who want to take up a more affordable mortgage.
Max said: “We all know that young people are getting a bad deal at the moment, so it’s vital that Cheltenham works to solve this - politicians on all sites need to replace crocodile tears with action. There’s a particular problem with young people leaving our area and we’ve got to stop that, otherwise we’ll end up with an unbalanced town.
“While the Tory government continues to give nothing more than warm words, Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham are taking a more muscular approach – I’m pleased that my work has helped convince people that we must do this.
“Some people might say that the council shouldn’t borrow money, but I think borrowing money at low rates to make a long-term investment helping young people and families with housing is exactly what we should be doing - we can't continue to ignore the problem.”
The homes would remain in the ownership of a new council controlled company indefinitely and any money made in the scheme will be reinvested in housing in Cheltenham. Funds would be invested over several years, helping the council to invest sensibly over time by borrowing at low rates from the Public Works Loan Board. Businesses in the town have already stated that attracting and retaining younger people to fill positions is becoming a challenge due to housing costs and insecurity.
Councillor Peter Jeffries, said: “Max has been very effective at speaking up on the issue of housing for young people and convincing the council that more assertive action is needed. These proposals will make a big difference to people’s lives while helping our town to become more prosperous."