newly elected Liberal Democrat councillors for Ely North Alison Whelan and Simon Harries at the MOD site in Ely.

Liberal Democrats on East Cambridgeshire District Council are calling for half the soon to be refurbished MOD homes in Ely to be affordable.

A significant number of those affordable homes should be for rent, they add, in a motion they have submitted for debate at the Annual Council Meeting on 30 May.

Under the scheme approved by the council and funded by a loan from the Mayor’s Combined Authority, only 15 of the 92 former MOD homes will be affordable, with the remainder for sale on the open market.  But a change in the law which took effect last month means that loans from the Combined Authority can now be used for social rented housing.  And the Combined Authority’s Director of Housing & Development has written to the council inviting it to discuss schemes to take advantage of this change.

Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Lorna Dupré said: “The recent change in the law means that East Cambridgeshire has a new opportunity to provide a great many more affordable homes for families who need them.

“Delivery of affordable homes in East Cambridgeshire has been patchy.  Only once in the last 17 years have more than 30 per cent of homes completed in East Cambridgeshire been affordable, and in two recent years that figure has fallen below 5 per cent.

“Liberal Democrats believe the council should aim to provide homes for those most in need.  This scheme doesn’t do enough as it stands, and the council should think again.”

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