On Thursday 25th June City of York Council announced their decision to sell Oliver House to McCarthy & Stone.

We take this opportunity to thank everybody who supported our campaign to buy and redevelop Oliver House. It has been an incredible few months and we have been overwhelmed by the kindness, commitment and conviction of those who have supported us, both locally and further afield, by attending our public meetings, signing the online petition, and contacting York councillors and Council Executive members. You are our foundation-stone; we look forward to working with you again in the future.

YorSpace recognise the difficult predicament in which the Council Executive find themselves, subject to substantial budget constraints, and under pressure to deliver ‘best value’ for local residents in their business transactions. We appreciate the motivations behind the decision to sell the site to the highest-bidder. However, we feel that this decision represents a missed opportunity for the new administration to tackle the housing crisis currently affecting York.

We strongly welcome the recommendation from Councillor Chris Steward that City of York Council work closely with YorSpace to identify alternative opportunities for the development of affordable housing, and we look forward to meeting with officers to discuss possible sites.

We look forward to developing a productive dialogue with the Council Executive in order to reexamine the approach currently taken to the disposal of public assets, and to formulate a new Local Housing Plan with Social Value at its core. We hope that in future Council assets will be utilised to create decent, low-cost, sustainable housing much needed by the residents of York.

A full recording of the Decision Session meeting is available to view here. The Oliver House decision is item 12, with coverage starting at 1:53:13. You can register your support for YorSpace by emailing us at yorspacehousing@gmail.com.

YorSpace Response to the Sale of Oliver House