Council Chief’s Blog: Uniting forces to combat our housing predicament

Council Leader Arooj Shah, of Oldham Council, has highlighted the impact of the national housing crisis on the town. With 7,500 families currently on the social housing register and a further 11,000 applications being processed, it is clear that there is a shortage of homes. Homelessness is a real concern, with nearly 500 families in temporary accommodation and 1 in 5 households at risk of losing their homes due to financial struggles or actions by landlords. While the council’s ability to directly build and provide housing has been limited by government policies, they are committed to finding solutions. This week, Oldham Council will host the first Oldham Housing Roundtable, bringing together key stakeholders to address the crisis. The council is keen to hear from developers, house builders, and social housing providers about their plans to meet the housing needs of Oldhamers. The roundtable aims to go beyond just discussions and create concrete plans to increase the supply of quality homes. The private sector also has a role to play, and the council has implemented measures to ensure private landlords meet standards and tenants are aware of their rights. The outcomes of the roundtable will be shared to demonstrate progress in improving housing options. However, the current market-based housing system is broken, and the council will continue to push the government to take action, including ending rough sleeping and implementing a ban on ‘no fault’ evictions.

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