Views sought on Isle of Man housing shortages

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The Manx government is asking for public feedback on plans to address the Isle of Man's housing problems.

A recent report revealed the population of about 80,000 is expected to rise by 500 every year over the next 14 years.

It is thought this could mean a need for 400 new homes on the Isle of Man each year to meet demand.

The department of social sare has launched a 12-week consultation period to give residents the chance to comment on possible solutions.

'Unsustainable' policy

Consideration is being given to freeing up more development land in the south of the island and tightening up on means-testing for council house tenants.

The problems being faced by the government are compounded by a need to save in the region of £35m during the next financial year.

While social care spending was, to some extent protected in the 2012 budget (from 136.22m in 2011 to 142.95m in 2012), minister Chris Robertshaw has warned about the need to streamline services.

He said: "Given the government's financial position, current policy is unsustainable.

"It is essential that the government develops prudent, robust and financially sustainable mechanisms for supporting the housing sector which plays a key role in our island's economy as well as the quality of life for us all."

More information about the government's housing review is available on its website.

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