Housing 'should have own department'
The housing sector should have its own dedicated Whitehall department, according to the author of a controversial report into the management of affordable housing.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Alex Morton, a senior researcher at right-wing think tank Policy Exchange, said that ‘no one is responsible’ for housing and called on the government to use this September’s likely cabinet reshuffle to establish a stand-alone department.
He said that housing ‘sits unloved and forlorn’ in the department for Communities and Local Government department, which he described as ‘a Prescott style mishmash of various policies’, adding that ‘it certainly doesn’t exist to build more homes’.
Earlier this week, Policy Exchange published Mr Morton’s report, urging councils and housing associations to sell off their most expensive stock fund new-build affordable housing.
He claimed that this could generate enough extra cash to build an additional 170,000 homes every year.
Housing minister Grant Shapps said the idea was ‘blindingly obvious’ but the report came in for widespread criticism from social landlords, many of whom claimed that it would break up mixed communities and create ghettos of low or middle-income tenants.