Campaign to raise profile of affordable housing
A campaign is launching in parliament today to put pressure on the government to prioritise affordable housing.
The Housing Voice campaign has been set up to highlight the need for more affordable housing while also giving the issue greater prominence in government and the media.
Backers include Alison Seabeck, shadow housing minister, Alison Graham of Child Poverty Action Group and Stephen Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat chair of the all party parliamentary group on housing.
A YouGov poll commissioned to coincide with the launch of the campaign has found the general public are concerned about housing issues.
It found 71 per cent of people do not think the government is giving enough attention to affordable housing while 70 per cent support building more homes for rent.
Affordable housing was the second biggest concern for those in private rented accommodation, after the economy but above health and education.
Given a list of possible policies, just 40 per cent supported the idea of increasing supply by moving people from their council or housing association homes once their incomes rise above a certain limit while 18 per cent said they always or often struggle to pay their rent or mortgage.
At the launch Lord Whitty, chair of the campaign, will say: ‘Housing is currently beset by a perfect storm of demographic change, the long term shortfall of new homes being built, issues around the availability of finance for would-be buyers, and the inadequacy of available homes to rent in the social and private sectors.
‘The Housing Voice campaign aims to become a forum for ideas and a vehicle for action in order to build public awareness and push for urgent government action to deliver more affordable housing.
‘Affordable housing has almost crept up on us as an issue but it is time to give it the attention it deserves - and the public quite rightly expect.’
Lord Whitty will call for a new duty on local authorities to meet housing need, a cabinet level position for housing, and a royal commission on addressing demand for affordable housing.