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Lib Dems act to defeat move to restrict shared homes

April 19, 2012 11:17 AM

Liberal Democrats will tonight (Thursday, April 19) call on their city council colleagues to reject a Labour move to restrict the number of shared houses in Cambridge.

They will also ask for rejection of Labour's demands to look at options for regulating houses in multiple occupation.

And they will advise the council that smaller shared houses, where three or more people live in two or more unrelated households, cannot be licensed because conditions required to meet the legislation are not present in Cambridge at the moment; the situation will continue to be monitored.

The Lib Dems have raised an amendment to a Labour motion calling for the restriction and will ask the city council to "recognise the vital contribution that well-run houses make in providing homes for family, students, professionals and migrant workers".

Catherine Smart, Romsey Councillor and Deputy Leader of Cambridge City Councillor said: "Without shared housing many people living and working in our city would not be able to do so. Property prices make home ownership unaffordable for many in Cambridge but they can live in the city by sharing the cost of renting.

"We are fortunate that we have a diverse mix of people in our city and we don't want to discourage that. This could be bad for our economy and our community in general.

"It is vital, therefore, that we make sure we support the contribution made by these properties and the people who live there. But at the same time, we do acknowledge that not all of them are run as well as they could be and sometimes there are problems as there are with all types of housing. We have procedures in place to deal with this."

Lib Dems will ask for an annual report to be brought to the council's Community Services Committee detailing the number and type of complaints received by the Environmental Health Department in all types of housing in the city and how they have been dealt with, including the number of prosecutions.