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Homes for the future – Council seeks a ‘vision’ for housing
Friday 23rd January, 2009

The future is in your hands…

That’s the message from Housing chiefs with Wigan Council who want to hear all about people’s visions for the future.

The council’s Housing Strategy team is about to embark on a borough-wide exercise to ask residents from all ages, areas and social groups what they think the housing situation should look like in Wigan 17 years from now.

The team also wants to know what people think the most important issues will be when it comes to housing and what the council and its partners can do in the years leading up to 2026 to address these issues.

To help, the team has produced a Housing Strategy Issues Paper, which looks at where the borough is at present and what we may have to face in the future.

The Issues Paper will be launched at the Housing Partnership Conference which will take place on Tuesday February 3 at Leigh Sports Village.

From there people from all walks of life will be given until Sunday March 15 to have their say.
Wigan Council’s Cabinet Champion for the Environment Cllr David Molyneux says: “A lot has changed in Wigan over the past few years. House prices have increased dramatically, often outstripping earnings and making it difficult for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

“Investment in improving the standard of our homes has made them some of the best in the region and now demand for council accommodation is at an all time high along with increases in the number of privately rented homes.

“So we want to know what people’s priorities are when it comes to housing and what do they think should happen in the years to come?”

Some of the issues being looked at include:
  • More homes for first time buyers
  • Homes that are greener
  • Safer neighbourhoods
  • More support for older, disabled and vulnerable people to stay in their own homes

Anyone can have their say as part of the consultation exercise and the views will help to formulate the council’s Housing Strategy which is due to be published later this year.

Some of the specific target groups the team would like to hear from include younger people, older people, the homeless or those in supported accommodation and council and housing association tenants.

Cllr Molyneux says: “We believe that planning for the future is something we can only really do effectively if we work together. That’s why we want to hear from as many of the borough’s residents as possible.

“We have made it really easy for people to take part by producing a short questionnaire which should only take a few minutes to fill in. By giving that time you be helping to make a real difference to the future of our borough and making your views and opinions count. I would urge as many people as possible to take part and help us shape the future.”

The Housing Strategy Issues Paper is available on line through the council’s website – www.wigan.gov.uk/consult/housingstrategy.

You can also get a copy by calling 01942 828953.

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