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Housing Effort 'Nothing Short Of Failure'

Leale's Yard.

Deputy Lyndon Trott blasts the results so far of States' efforts to build more homes.

Deputy Trott was giving his first update to the Assembly as the head of Policy and Resources, in a week where the committee marks its 100th day in office.

He reminded deputies that building more homes is their top priority this political term:

"It is a key facilitator to achieving wider success for our economy. We need to attract and retain staff in an ever more competitive recruitment market.

And ensuring appropriate housing is available is critical in supporting business, the delivery of the Government Work Plan and ultimately, the economy.

Last week's publication of the Property Stock Bulletin shows there was only a net increase of 94 units of accommodation last year."

He didn't pull any punches when it came that figure:

"This is nothing short of failure which cannot be allowed to continue.

"The States and the Guernsey Housing Association have, over recent years, taken positive steps to acquire land. It is now a case of ensuring spades in the ground as quickly as possible."

He said that he and his vice president were meeting with deputies Peter Roffey and Lyndsay de Sausmarez to understand the barriers to delivery. He said they were keen to move quickly on flood defences on the Bridge to enable work to begin at Leale's Yard and the nearby GHA sites on old vineries.

"The committee is looking to bring proposals to the States as soon as possible on Leale's Yard...so the Assembly can make an informed decision on the potential purchase of homes on the site."

Elsewhere, he talked up Guernsey's public finances, saying "it is positive news" despite an underlying deficit. Income, he said, achieved expectations, and made a surplus, and social security receipts performed strongly.

He said Guernsey was preparing for next month's Moneyval inspection which will look at the island's money laundering and counter terrorism financing measures.

He ended on this positive note:

"The sun is shining, my face is smiling. We're all talking. And we live and work in the very best place on the planet."

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