Crawley is a great place to call home, but life is becoming more of a struggle for many of us – even here in the so-called affluent south-east. What we earn relative to what it costs to live here, makes Crawley one of the most expensive places to live in the UK.
A shortage of homes has led to high housing costs. It is the high cost of housing, relative to what we earn, that makes Crawley such an expensive place to live. We all need a place to call home and when the price of something we need goes up, we have little choice but to go on paying. That is when we become vulnerable to exploitation. While people struggle to buy or rent a home they can afford, property developers build ‘units’, and make more and more money. Rents go up, and fewer and fewer of us can afford to buy a home. Whether we struggle to pay a mortgage, or meet the increasing cost of renting, market forces work against the many, and only seem to benefit the few.
While we have a Tory government whose mission is to protect the profits of the few, and that keeps on moving the goalposts, there are no easy answers. Crawley’s Labour Council has pledged to deliver 1,000 new affordable homes over a four-year period, and we are on track to keep that promise. If we can help to address the shortage, then that in turn should help reduce the cost of housing, which has to be a good thing all round.
Until we get a Labour Government that puts people before profit, and recognises that it cannot be left solely to ‘the market’ to ensure that we can all afford a decent home, it will continue to be a huge challenge for us to improve things for our residents. In the meantime, I am proud to be part of a council that is doing all it can, in challenging circumstances, to do right by our residents.
Councillor West Green Ward