Housing set to dominate proceedings at this month’s Tynwald

Housing was one of the issues we heard mentioned the most in the run up to the 2021 General Election.

Almost three years on the topic is set to be one of the main themes at this month’s sitting of Tynwald with three motions focussing on housing challenges.

Onchan MHK Rob Callister will be seeking Tynwald support to set up a new committee looking into a range of social housing issues.

He says government’s public sector housing thresholds go against the Island Plan by encouraging people not to work.

He’s calling for the Department of Infrastructure’s policies to be investigated by a three-member committee with a report being submitted to the Manx parliament by February next year.

Fixed term tenancy thresholds are currently £34,500 for single applicants but £38,000 for couples which Mr Callister says is too low:

The 32 recommendations of the Poverty Committee’s report into housing will also be debated.

Its suggestions include identifying a site for 20 units of emergency housing, a commitment to building 100 older persons’ housing units by 2030 and an update to public sector housing regulations.

The committee’s recommendations also refer to the Objective Assessment of Housing Needs which will also be presented at this month’s sitting.

The former chair of the housing board says a report into the Island’s housing needs focuses on action but it does have some gaps.

Douglas Central MHK Chris Thomas was in charge of the board when work on the OAHN got underway.

A Council of Ministers response to the report is expected by October.

Mr Thomas believes there are some areas of the assessment that could have been better:

Source: manxradio.com