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More 'affordable' homes needed as well as council homes

Councils are being encouraged to build more social housing to meet that ever-rising demand. But the numbers of new homes remain stubbornly small.

Meanwhile in the general housing market there are complaints of high rents, a housing shortage, and a lack of land to build on - so many people are struggling to find anywhere to rent - let alone to buy.

Across the south east, fewer than fifteen hundred council houses were built in Kent as a whole. East Sussex and Brighton managed less than three hundred. Medway Council built almost 200. Maidstone under 200. Hastings just 19. And Lewes just 12.

Despite those dismal numbers, the Housing Minister was in the Medway Towns this afternoon. He told our reporter Tom Savvides that extra funding is being made available to build more affordable homes.

Train drivers reject deal in Southern rail strikes row

The train drivers' union ASLEF has tonight rejected a deal aimed at resolving the long-running dispute over driver-only trains on Southern Rail.

It was thought that the majority of members would agree to the deal - but in a shock move - drivers decided by 54 to 46% NOT to accept the recommendation.

It's only the second time in ASLEF's history that drivers have gone against their union's recommendation. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse sends this from East Grinstead station....

  1. Tom Savvides

Should more council homes be built?

High rents, a housing shortage, a lack of land to build on. So many people are struggling to find anywhere to rent, let alone to buy. Councils are being encouraged to build more social housing to meet that ever-rising demand. But the numbers of new homes remain stubbornly small. Tom Savvides reports from Gillingham where newly-built council homes have been opened. He talks to tenant Samantha Burton, Medway councillor Howard Doe and Housing Minister Gavin Barwell.

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