Jersey politician says island having a 'housing crisis'

A politician has described Jersey as being in a "housing crisis" as the the number of applications for a States home hits 452.

Deputy Paul Le Claire said the number of people waiting for a rental home was at its highest for several years.

He set up the pressure group "Homes4Jersey" and said Jersey was having a "housing crisis".

Housing Minister Deputy Andrew Green said: "It is of concern and it is a crisis for each individual family."

Families with children

He said: "We have a number of States-owned sites approved by housing, we just need to get on and do it.

"One of the factors that has affected our progress is funding but the transformation programme should solve that."

Deputy Le Claire said that among those on the waiting list were families with children.

He wants the criteria for those that qualify for a States home to be widened to include singles and couples under 50 without children.

He said: "These figures highlight yet again the sad state the island is in with growing numbers of homeless and those unable to afford their own homes.

"Many of these are now being displaced by wealthy immigrants and European migrants, in what has been the island's greatest housing crisis in decades."

Mr Green said: "It certainly is a problem but we are working a solution.

"The transformation programme for housing will look at the way we run the housing department."

He said there were a number of issues that needed to be looked at, including whether to exclude people over 50 from applying for housing and whether to help people under 25, who are currently excluded.

The transformation programme includes suggestion of a "common gateway" that would allow anyone with a housing need to apply.

Mr Green said they would then be directed to the appropriate department depending on their needs.

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