‘Wrong time for affordable housing policy to change’

ALTERING housing policy GP11 when it is just about to be delivered would be a ‘supremely bad idea’, Employment & Social Security president Peter Roffey has said.

Deputy Peter Roffey. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30963640)
Deputy Peter Roffey. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30963640)

In an amendment to next week's States meeting, Development & Planning Authority president Victoria Oliver has proposed that developers have the opportunity to pay a cash sum in respect of the land that would otherwise be allocated to affordable housing in a bid to ease the island’s housing crisis.

But Deputy Roffey said now was not the time to be making changes to the policy.

‘The way it is drafted I would vote against it. I think if it was going to be asking for money in lieu of sites of less than 20 houses it would make more sense – using cash alternatives on smaller sites is sensible.’

The proposal however is that developers would be eligible for land purchases regardless of the number of units planned for construction.

Deputy Oliver has said that, as it stands, the policy can result in the delivery of fewer, or even zero affordable housing units and it has yet to be relevant to a planning proposal.

Large-scale developments at Leale’s Yard and Pointues Rocques are in train, both of which would consist of a number of affordable housing units.

‘It is on the cusp of doing exactly [what was intended],’ said Deputy Roffey.

‘There are other significant developments in the wings too. It would be a supremely bad time, just when GP11 is about to be delivered.’

There have been 387 general market units completed between November 2016 and the first quarter of 2022.

Housing is a Government Work Plan priority. It will be debated next week.

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