Dromey fears strategy will hurt housing sector
The government’s plans to rejuvenate the housing sector have been attacked by a shadow minister who said they were modest measures which would cause more hurt than help.
Jack Dromey, shadow housing minister, told Inside Housing that ‘Laying the foundations: a housing strategy for England’ did little to replace £4 billion of lost funding and those measures which were welcome were old policies re-released.
The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister released the housing strategy yesterday.
Mr Dromey said: ‘On the facts and by their [the government] own figures, house building is down, homelessness is up, we have a mortgage market where people can’t get mortgages and rents are soaring.
‘Before yesterday, there were 127 government initiatives but they proved to be false dawns followed by broken promises and a failure to deliver.’
Mr Dromey said that the government’s £400 million pledge to create 16,000 new homes was ‘not a serious response to an immense and growing crisis’ as only 3,200 of the new homes would be ‘affordable’.
The shadow housing minister also attacked the new right-to-buy plans which he said could create a ‘toxic’ situation.
Mr Dromey said: ‘We are not convinced that a home will be built for every home sold; there are major questions.
‘Will the council be able to keep 100 per cent of receipts? Will the council - because of the HRA reform process - lose rent revenue? Will any new home be built in the area where the home was sold?
‘The new homes will be let at affordable rents linked to market values. We fear the toxic combination of fewer council homes at higher rents.’
Mr Dromey also said that the government had secured social tenants a ‘bleak future’ by putting in place ‘insecure tenancies at higher rents’ and said that Grant Shapps description of them as flexible was wide of the mark.
Mr Dromey said: ‘The government’s housing policies - like their economic policies - are hurting not working. These are but modest measures, these are unfair measures and they will simply will not solve the growing housing crisis.’