Posted by: Stephen Connelly | October 29, 2015

1000 New Homes in a Decade for Ipswich

There are currently 57,000 homes in Ipswich with 60% of them owner occupied and 8000 of them owned by the Council but even with the significant new housing developments planned for our town we have to ask, is the housing supply keeping up with the demand?

Cllr John Mowles

Cllr John Mowles, IBC Housing Portfolio Holder

John Mowles, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Ipswich Borough Council addressed a large, appreciative audience at the Labour Party’s All Member Meeting yesterday (28/10/15) at Ipswich Library on the subject of Housing.  He blamed the origin of the current housing crisis on Margaret Thatcher’s introduction of the Right to Buy.  Her wish to turn us into a nation of home owners through the policy of selling off publicly owned housing stock at knock-down prices is at the heart of today’s lack of affordable housing.  There are benefits in social renting, he pointed out, the ability to move cost effectively when job opportunities arise, the security of tenure offered by such accommodation is not reflected in the private sector market. The present government seem hell bent on forcing not only Councils but also Housing Associations to sell off substantial numbers of houses exacerbating the problem,

He went on to outline the extensive array of services managed under the umbrella of the Housing Department at Ipswich Borough Council.  From the planning process to routine maintenance tasks to the extensive, planned modernisation programme, bringing houses up to the ‘Ipswich Standard’, already ahead of the national standard for decent homes that has seen kitchen and bathroom refurbishments and energy efficiency improvements across the town.

Bader Close Houses

New Houses in Bader Close

Ipswich Borough Council are embarking on the biggest house building scheme in a generation. Building decent Homes has been a priority for Ipswich Borough Council, led by a Labour Administration after government rule changes instigated by Gordon Brown made it possible for local authorities to borrow against their housing stock.  The Bader Close Development of over 100 houses is nearing completion.  Other smaller developments include those in Ulster Avenue in Whitehouse and the new houses in Whitton Church Lane which have been occupied since before last Christmas.  There are other large developments planned which puts IBC on target to deliver the 1000 homes in a decade promised, the only thing likely to challenge this is a constantly shifting government policy.

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