Swale borough Council’s cabinet has unanimously approved the formation of a new local housing company to provide affordable homes in Swale including a £23 million investment. The proposal, from Swale Liberal Democrat Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Ben J Martin, follows months of work by Cllr Martin, officers and cabinet colleagues.
In his introduction Cllr Martin noted that Swale was by no means the first council in the country to go down this route, siting the examples set by Liberal Democrat led councils in Portsmouth, Torbay and Maidstone, in addition to those in Brighton, Hastings and Bexley.
Cllr Ben J Martin said “I am delighted as this will enable us to directly intervene in the housing market. Swale Rainbow Homes will enable us to provide the much needed affordable housing in Swale, in a financially viable, environmentally friendly way. It should be seen as a key indicator of this council’s commitment to delivering increased numbers of quality affordable housing in the borough.”
Cllr Ben J Martin continued “The company will build on the vision and principles of Lloyd George, Nye Bevan and Harold Macmillan, delivering a number of affordable homes of a high standard. I am excited to lead this, as I believe we can make a real difference for local people. Everyone deserves a warm, safe, decent place to call home that they can afford.”
Cllr Martin received significant praise from members of all parties in Swale’s coalition administration for the hard work that he has already put into to bring the proposal this far. The Conservative opposition have already stated their intention to call the decision into the council’s scrutiny committee.