Worthing was named as being one of the ten most unaffordable ‘cities’ in a report on housing needs last month for the charity Centre for Cities.
The report named ‘Delivering Change: Building homes where we need them’ stated nationally 200,000 homes need to be built a year and the land needed to build them must be found.
It concluded cities can deliver homes within their boundaries by increasing the density of their communities. In the ten least affordable cities (i.e. including Worthing), if every site was fully built out, there would be the capacity for around 425,000 houses on brownfield land.
The report admits that much of this land is complex to develop, and requires cities to take active approaches to enable them to be built on: providing investment for new infrastructure, undertaking land assembly and financing and developing land directly.
When faced with Government demands for increases in housing in the recent past, our local Worthing Cabinet has countered ‘where? We are stuck between the Downs and the sea. There is nowhere.’ Yet the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) estimates this year Worthing has the capacity to build 1,930 dwellings on brownfield sites. Perhaps our Cabinet should be asking the DLCG ‘where?’
As the report says the failure to build drives up the cost of housing and makes it unaffordable for people to live and work there. It is time this was tackled boldly in Worthing and our ‘city’ drops out of the ten most unaffordable. It is a statistic Worthing’s residents could well do without.