Kingston is a wonderful place to live, but we know that many people struggle to find homes that suit their needs and their pockets.
Residents have told us that new housing should protect the borough’s special character and its rich heritage. It is also important that homes are built to the highest standards and come with extra school places and good public transport.
The demand for social housing is high. Currently 900 people in the Borough live in temporary accommodation and 3,700 are on the waiting list for council homes.
New Council housing
Having a place to call home is a basic right. But the average home in Kingston costs 15 times the average salary of the people who work in the borough.
That’s why Liberal Democrats on Kingston Council have started building the first new council homes in Kingston for 35 years. 114 of these will be on the regenerated Cambridge Road Estate with a further 101 on small sites spread across the borough.
We carried out a thorough consultation of residents in the Cambridge Road Estate about the plans and they overwhelmingly supported them.
Read more about the Cambridge Road Estate Regeneration.
Homes for younger people
Liberal Democrats want to provide more high-quality housing that younger people and key workers can afford, helping residents to rent and to buy.
In future 25% of all new affordable homes will be offered under a shared ownership scheme, which gives buyers a discount of up to 50%.
Read more about shared ownership schemes in Kingston.
Single first-time buyers can also benefit from the Pocket Living scheme which offers 20% discount.
Read more about Pocket Living.
Home for families
We are very aware that we need a lot more family homes, especially three bedroom properties.
The shared ownership schemes can also help many families get on the housing ladder.
We want to build more specialist housing for older people and for residents with disabilities, and we need to make sure that older properties are fully accessible and disabled-friendly.
Under the Liberal Democrats the Council has housed rough sleepers in Kingston and provided the support they need in order to find a permanent home.
Safe and healthy homes
When Liberal Democrats took control of Kingston Council four years ago we discovered that — amazingly — the Housing department could not produce a full list of all the properties it owned.
As a result there was no planned maintenance of Council properties. So we carried out a full survey of the condition of all the housing owned by the Council. With that information we were able to set up a maintenance plan and make it easier for tenants to report problems. For example, we now prioritise boiler repairs for the elderly.
There was also no proof that the Council was carrying out the required gas and fire safety checks on its own properties. We made that an early priority and now have full records.
We have ambitious plans in place to cut carbon emissions across all the Council’s properties.