York Green Party

Greens' disappointment over Oliver House decision

26 June 2015

York Green Party has expressed its disappointment over the Council's decision not to sell Oliver House to local community group YorSpace, and has called upon local residents and community leaders to continue the fight for York's much-needed affordable homes.

The decision to sell the former care home to private developers McCarthy & Stone was announced yesterday evening at a meeting of the Council Executive. York Green Party Chair Mark Havercroft, whilst ultimately disappointed, remained hopeful that YorSpace had laid the foundations for a progressive community-led future housing policy.

He said: "We need a fresh approach to the current housing crisis in York - for that is what it is – a crisis of affordable housing. Developers have proved reluctant to build affordable housing in York and local people are being priced out of the city."

YorSpace supporters were hopeful, despite not bidding the highest price, that their innovative proposal offered the greatest community value. Their plan, to renovate the property into fourteen affordable & environmentally sustainable homes, would have allowed residents to become shareholders of their property together with investors.

"Oliver House may have gone the way of yet another luxury development," continued Havercroft. "But we need to look afresh at how we do things in York and bring imagination and heart to housing."

Conservative Council leader Chris Steward recognised the good work of YorSpace and the need for a shift towards innovative schemes that create affordable homes. With York currently the most 'unaffordable place to buy a home in all of Yorkshire', the Green Party eagerly await these words turning into actions.

"It is a disappointing outcome," York Green Party Group Leader Andy D'Agorne said. "But YorSpace have also highlighted an opportunity. We very much support these different housing initiatives – making homes affordable to everyone. Today we may not have won, but tomorrow as a community we can win together."

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