AFFORDABLE homes and getting residents on the housing ladder will be the focus of policies for West of England metro mayor candidate Stephen Williams.

The Liberal Democrat candidate and former Bristol MP pledged at a meeting last weekend in Bath that affordable housing would be a top priority ahead of the election on May 4.

The metro mayor will chair the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), a £1 billion partnership between South Gloucestershire, Bristol and Bath and North East Somerset, with powers devolved from central government including influence over housing, transport and jobs.

Speaking at the event, Mr Williams said: “The Liberal Democrats and I believe that access to decent and affordable housing is a fundamental right.

“But the failure to build enough houses is making home-ownership increasingly unaffordable.

“By focusing on increasing the number of homes we can improve people’s lives by giving them decent homes to live in.

“We desperately need genuinely affordable housing. I have been speaking to many residents across the region, who tell me in no uncertain terms that they suffer daily from poor housing, or from the uncertainty of not knowing where they will be living from one month to the next, or even from the misery of knowing they will never earn enough money to be able to afford their own home.

“I will make it a priority to increase the number of affordable homes and ensure new homes are built with enhanced bus and rail services.

“Only the Liberal Democrats have a real commitment to moving the region forward by making affordable housing a priority.”