Where will the next generation live?

What a rare delight it is to see that finally, this government is giving the poor, the vulnerable and the disabled some care and consideration.

It is all very well to say that government spending on their needs is rising but, unfortunately, so is the number of people needing help.

However, I also believe that another government proposal is going to cause even more long term hardship – the extension of the “right to buy” scheme to housing association properties.

The government’s housing targets in Worthing and many other areas is unachievable at current levels and, in my view, proportionately seriously flawed.

Worthing is desperately short of suitable social housing already and, with social housing being forced to sell their housing stock at potentially far less than it costs to build, there will soon be no more built.

The government’s vision of everyone owning their own home is impossible.

The price of an average home in Worthing is £280k. To afford that, with a mortgage at an acceptable interest rate, you would need a deposit of £75k. Any less than that would mean a higher rate of interest.

With that £75k deposit, you would also need a total household income of £52,300 per annum. Could your sons and daughters afford that, Worthing voters? (Data kindly provided by Simon Chandler, mortgage advisor)

Most Worthing residents have no idea how many vulnerable people live here. I am not wealthy but it is only since becoming involved in community projects and local politics that I’ve realised just how many truly poor people live here.

It’s fine for councillors to say that no-one asked them for help with last year’s new council tax charges or help with the daunting five-page form if they needed financial assistance or that the money set aside for it wasn’t fully taken but the truth is that many were too proud or too scared to ask.

With loss of social housing, where will our next generation live? Already, we are seeing record numbers of adults in their 30s still living with parents and those who have left home are paying exorbitant rents to private landlords. For many of the latter, a mortgage would be cheaper than their rent but they can’t amass the deposit or meet the lending requirements! This dreadful situation cannot be allowed to continue but, without a serious rebellion against the Tory Party, your own children and grandchildren may well end up homeless.

The government’s idea of “affordable” may well be acceptable in areas where house prices are lower but it isn’t affordable here! Neither is the assisted buying scheme.

Developers want to build luxury homes, mainly bought by those who weren’t born here, as they make far more profit out of them. There are benefits too for the councils with more council tax on those homes but, as many of them are bought by people wanting an easy commute to Brighton or London etc, the town as a whole gains little. I know many people who have done this but they don’t spend their leisure or shopping funds here, preferring Chichester or Horsham as prime examples.

UKIP wants to bring us out of Europe, as do some Tories. I honestly believe that, not only as a nation but as a town, this would be disastrous. So many industries are begging for more immigrant workers that surely this proves a need.

All I’m asking is that you seriously check your facts before you cast your vote in May, look at what has happened since the loss of the coalition and that you actually bother to vote.

People suffered to give you that right. Do you know who is standing, or if they live in your ward? Whose interests do they have at heart? Do you even know who your present councillors are? I’m horrified at how few people do know these important facts.

Trudi Starling

The Strand,

Worthing

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