IAN HART Social housing has become a dirty word

I SINCERELY hope the debate over the proposed Worthing College move hasn’t resorted to misinformation and rumour.

At a recent gathering, a friend said he’d heard the houses being built on part of the former Norwich Union car park were all social housing and would be run by a London borough to house problem tenants.

Blood-boiling stuff, especailly for the local residents, but clearly wrong.

I have spoken to college principal Peter Corrigan about the whole project, and the housing that will be built on part of the site will be by Barratt Homes, and will be classed as executive housing.

It’s almost like “social housing” has become a dirty word in certain quarters, and that’s very wrong.

A big part of the concept of the idea was to give people a start on the property ladder, through renting, for me, and I’m sure many others, it was the action of Mrs Thatcher and her administration with the policy of selling off a large number of council properties.

The selling-off was not the main issue, I believe everyone has the right to have the chance to own their own home.

The problem was that for every one they sold, surely the government should have made plans to build a replacement dwelling?

Did anyone really think that by selling off the homes, all the waiting lists would disapear overnight?

It clearly had more to do with raising revenue and taking some of the responsibility and cost of council housing away from local governemnt.

To the present day, one of my big bugbears is the apparent “bussing in” of new tenants when additional social housing is built in Worthing.

I don’t have a problem with new people moving to the town, bearing in mind many years ago Worthing had a population that was less than Broadwater, so we’ve all been newcomers along the way.

I just wonder why, with alleged large waiting lists for local people, especially youngsters, a number of our recent developments at Warners Corner and the bottom of Broadwater Bridge has seen an influx of people from London.

Surely, the council and Worthing Homes have a duty to all the local people who need housing?

When that obligation is met, then I have no issue with empty properties being offered to outside agencies, but is that really happening at the present?

No doubt, a response from either the council or Worthing Homes will arrive at the Herald HQ within days.

And finally, another Splash FM open-air gig at Steyne Gardens beckons, and although the local broadcasters’ plans have, again, attracted some oppostion, I think it’s good for the town.

It’s always a cracking night and anything that brings people into the town and bolsters the local economy, can’t be bad.