The former Housing Minister has put forward proposals to significantly increase the number of 'affordable' homes in the upcoming South Hill and Waterfront Developments.
Both developments are being progressed by the public-backed States of Jersey Development Company, which have currently only been asked by Government to ensure 15% of the homes in each development are in that category – 173 homes in total.
But Reform Jersey leader Senator Sam Mézec is pushing to increase what he describes as a “clearly totally inadequate” target.
He is now asking the Government to issue new guidance “which stipulates a minimum provision of affordable housing at no less than 50% of the homes built in the proposed developments on the Waterfront and South Hill.”
Senator Mézec had originally suggested 30% - double that which the Government is proposing – but said the housing crisis was such that a more ambitious target should be proposed.
“Jersey currently has around 2,000 applications on our first-time-buyers waiting list, and a further 1,000 waiting for social rental housing,” he explained.
“This could end up being a huge missed opportunity to meet the genuine housing need we know there is.
“Ideally, all homes built on publicly owned land should be for affordable housing options, with the private sector catering for other parts of the market if there is demand for it. The government should not be focusing its resources on providing homes which are unaffordable for most Islanders. I am therefore proposing that the government’s 15% target is scrapped, and replaced with a new target of either 50% or at least 30% for these developments.
“We currently have a massive housing crisis which is getting worse as each day of inaction passes. The government must devote its energy to genuinely providing the homes that Islanders need. Their current plans show they are not serious about resolving this, so I hope the States Assembly will support my proposition to force them to look at this again.”
The proposal is currently scheduled for a vote in the States Assembly on 23 November.
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