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SOUTH Hams councillors urged to spend more money on affordable homes.

SOUTH Hams councillors have called on the council to spend more money on affordable homes.
Cllr Jacqi Hodgson wants all the council’s £1.3m new homes bonus to be directed towards providing affordable and social housing.
Just £253,000 – 19.4 per cent – was being spent in that area yet it was one of the council’s four priorities.
She added: ‘There is an urgent need to be prudent, I understand that, but also an urgent need to support housing needs in the area.’
Supporting her call at last week’s council executive committee, Cllr Julian Brazil said the South Hams was turning into ‘one massive retirement home and a theme park for rich holidaymakers in front of our eyes’.
In order to reverse that, more affordable homes needed to be built, he said.
He added: ‘Far from being complacent, we should be doing as much as we can to increase it.
‘If we don’t do it we are neglecting our responsibilities.’
Cllr Alan Gorman said affordable housing was a frontline service.
‘If it isn’t regarded as a frontline service, we are at risk of becoming glorified estate agents working on behalf of wealthy incomers and second home owners at the expense of our young people, local young people and the less well off in our communities.’
After a budget scrutiny day was downgraded to a question and answer session, councillors were left pleading to the executive to put its money where its mouth was.
Cllr Gorman added: ‘If affordable housing is a key council priority, then don’t divert any new homes bonus at all away from housing – on the contrary, invest it in affordable housing which will yield a return on that investment.’

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