Monday, 30 January 2017

Manchester Housing Plan or 'Social Cleansing'

One Man Liberal Democrat Opposition: Cllr. John Leech
MANCHESTER Council has been accused of social cleansing* as it refuses to guarantee affordable homes in a development involving up to 2,500 houses.
Today (20th, Jan. 2017), in another of Manchester's heated council meetings, the sole opposition member, Liberal Democrat John Leech, unravelled the council's plans to build 2,500 homes in the city centre, not a single one of which is guaranteed to be affordable.
The Manchester North development, recently approved without a single Labour councillor questioning the lack of affordable homes, is one of several large developments in the city.  Yet not a single one of the proposed homes is certain to be affordable.  This plan has now been labeled 'Labour-style social cleansing.'
When the sole opposition councilor, Lib Dem. John Leech asked Councillor Bernard Priest if he could guarantee that any of the 2,500 homes would be affordable.  Mr Priest said he 'could not give that guarantee'.
Councillor Priest added that he 'anticipated the council would continue to be led by Labour politicians for a considerable number of years', but still wouldn't commit to making any of the 2,500 new homes affordable.
The Liberal Democrat councillor John Leech, has challenged the proposals, accusing the council of 'Labour-style social cleansing based on who can afford to live in the most desirable parts of the city.'
He said:  'This council continues to put profit before people. It is unacceptable that so many people have got their life on hold while this council continues to prioritise expensive houses for sale and making profit from land instead of genuinely affordable homes.'
As South Manchester's MP of ten years, John Leech, criticised decisions in 2013 when plots in Chorlton on Darley Avenue for 86 homes were sold off by the council to private companies for profit, rather than saved for affordable housing.

Councilor Leech then added: 
'This city is in desperate need of good quality, genuinely affordable family homes near existing public transport links and infrastructure, and we need to start taking this seriously. To build 2,500 new unaffordable houses is an insult to the 14,000 people currently on waiting lists across the city.
'If this council is committed to building genuinely affordable homes then why are they refusing to guarantee even one of these 2,500 houses will be affordable?
'This council put effort into help for first-time buyers but has shown little interest in affordable homes to rent. Why, in a development as large as these in West Didsbury and the City Centre, should not a single home, not one, be up for affordable rent?
'We need a balance of affordable homes to rent and buy across all of our communities in the whole of this city, not a Labour-style social cleansing based on who can afford to live in the most desirable parts.'
 The councillor, who was on fierce form despite receiving a barrage of personal comments and mocking from the 95 strong Labour group, also criticised the council for recently approving a housing development on Cavendish Road, West Didsbury without insisting on any houses being available for affordable rent.
Social cleansing (Spanish: limpieza social) is class-based killing that consists of elimination of members of society considered "undesirable," including but not limited to the homeless, criminals, street children, the elderly, sex workers, and sexual minorities[clarification needed].[1][2][3] This phenomenon is caused by a combination of economic and social factors, but killings are notably present in regions with high levels of poverty and disparities of wealth.[1][4] Perpetrators are usually of the same community as the victims and are often motivated by the idea that the victims are a drain on the resources of society.

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