Calls for more council homes as solution to housing crisis - The Leamington Observer

Calls for more council homes as solution to housing crisis

Leamington Editorial 5th Apr, 2018   0

MP Matt Western hosted a debate in the House of Commons calling for more council housing as a solution to the housing crisis.

The Warwick and Leamington MP said all political parties recognised the country faced a housing crisis and the government had set itself a target to deliver 300,000 homes a year – a number which has not been met since the 1970s.

Mr Western argued the housing crisis was caused by an undersupply of housing going back three decades, primarily caused by the decision of successive governments to limit the building of council housing.

In the debate, he said, “We have thousands of families without their own homes, waiting desperately for accommodation. We have record numbers of people rough sleeping. In my constituency, we have the highest number in terms of people per 1,000 of the population in the whole of the West Midlands.

“Over the decades, the overall supply of housing has not delivered. Now must be the time to change that.

“Building more council housing solves at least two key problems: first, the lack of genuinely affordable housing for those who cannot afford market rents; and secondly, the chronic undersupply of housing that is the root cause of our housing crisis.

“It is no coincidence that house building rates reached their post-war peak during the 1950s and ’60s, when successive governments were committed both to private sector and public sector house building.

“At the time, housing was plentiful and house prices stayed low, so that many on low to average incomes could afford to rent or buy their own homes.”

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