Jersey doesn’t have a housing crisis!

Nov 25, 2021

We don’t have a housing crisis the Chief Minister proclaimed in the States Assembly yesterday (Tuesday 23 November). Senator Le Fondre leads the Jersey Alliance Government (but strangely not the party) doesn’t consider there is a housing crisis. I am sure that if you ask our Alliance led Government, they will also tell you there isn’t a mental health crisis, there isn’t a crisis with health provision, there isn’t a crisis in our unchecked increasing population.

Jersey is all ok in the eyes of the Alliance led Government and we are blindly meant to accept their words as if their opinions are facts. George Orwell fictional characters chanting to the mantra of ‘believe what we tell you not as you may see’.

Jersey is not ok, just ask our younger generations if there is a housing crisis with some first-time buyer homes now being marketed in excess of £750,000. There is a crisis and it stems from the heart of this government. We have Alliance led Government Ministers at odds with their fellow COM Ministerial colleagues. We are harvesting the poor results of a Alliance led government which is collectively weak, lacks vision and decisiveness.

We don’t believe you Alliance Party, affordable housing is in crisis. Nothing you tell us will change this basic proposition. The evidence is all around us. Our younger generations are looking to leave this wonderful Island because of it taking with them much of our identity.

So what on earth has gone wrong? The balance of supply and demand are key and over the past three years there has been a failure in long term planning and decisive and consistent government policy to tackle the issue head on, is the problem. Just look how our Chief Minister John Le Fondre tried to block Andium from building much needed homes on Anne Court.

We have to re-address the housing affordability crisis. We have to ensure Islanders are able to access affordable housing. We do have to build, but we also have to be realistic. Jersey is only 9 miles by 5 miles. We cannot just continue to build and build and build. Do we want Jersey to turn into an urban sprawl, a Hong Kong of the English Channel or a built up suburb of Hampshire? We don’t think any Jersey voter really wants that.

We need is to becoming smarter and think more positively about our island home, we need to protect and safeguard our countryside, shoreline and island for future generations.

You cannot address just the supply side of the equation. While not palatable to some, we do have to consider for example how we can better regulate inward migration. Smart inward migration is a positive, but it must be handled significantly better than it is at present. We also have to continue with interventions, such as with the Andium and Parish led shared equity schemes and bring forward projects and be bold in our actions and not just in our words.

The Jersey housing crisis will not just go away. But the first step is to stop the misinformation from Jersey’s Alliance led Government, we have a crisis and we need to focus on how we solve the affordable housing deficit. If we don’t, valued islanders will leave our beautiful shores and relocate to other jurisdictions. We will lose the very people who make Jersey what it is.

Eddie Noel | Party Treasurer

First published | JEP 24 November 2021

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