Homes and communities
The additional costs of pre-school or school activities, such as trips, clothing, photographs, etc. is also discussed as having an adverse impact on income levels for those with children. Increasing the school clothing grant is one suggestion made to help with this.
Affordability and access are the key issues raised about housing. There are a number of calls for smaller, more affordable housing that will allow those on lower incomes to buy. Similarly, there are many comments which say that rent levels, mainly in the private rented sector, are too high and further controls should be put in place. One suggestion made is the introduction of a rent cap.
More private housing, to both buy and rent, and more local authority housing, are common points, with a few comments calling for more housing in rural areas.
Homelessness is discussed, with calls for more to be done to address this issue. Better engagement with homeless people is one idea put forward.
The housing allocation process is also mentioned, with a common suggestion being to pay more attention to individual needs in this process, especially for vulnerable groups of people. This was a particular issue raised in relation to the migrant and refugee community.
Housing support for disabled people is discussed, with suggestions to improve more support for young disabled people moving out of the parental home. Also, making sure all housing is accessible for disabled people is another point raised.
Housing quality is discussed. Improving the standard of housing, in both the private rented sector and in local authority provided housing, is a key point. A variety of ideas are suggested on how to achieve this, including: tougher penalties for landlords providing sub-standard housing; tougher regulations for house builders; and upgrading/modernising of existing housing stock. Also, there are a number of comments calling for all housing to be more energy efficient.
Increasing communal spaces and facilities so that local communities can come together is a key issue. This includes indoor space where people can hold meetings and run activities; and safe, outdoor green space that people can use, for example, for community gardening.
There are a number of suggestions to make better use of existing community facilities to provide this space, such as schools and public libraries.
There are also calls to increase the level of community activities for people to access. There is a particular focus on young people, especially in rural areas, with specific ideas including: more evening activities; free or inexpensive access to leisure services; more youth spaces such as youth cafes; and more youth clubs.
Community safety is discussed, with requests for more community policing and greater visibility of local police in the community. This is a common issue raised by individuals and groups from the migrant and refugee community who contributed to the discussion.
Email: Paul Sloan
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