Tories shack up with Shelter

Tories shack up with Shelter

11:46 AM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago 31

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Top Conservative MPs and an independent think tank for ‘liberal conservatism’ have teamed up with homeless charity Shelter to offer a ‘radical new vision’ for fixing the UK’s housing crisis.

The Bright Blue think tank has published a collection of 16 essays in its new book, ‘Home advantage: a new centre-right vision for housing’.

They say this will offer a ‘fresh centre-right vision to resolve the housing crisis’.

Recommendations include building an extra 90,000 social homes a year, extending the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector and extending standard contract tenancies to three years.

‘A home that is decent, safe, secure and affordable’

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Housing, has written the book’s foreword and he says: “Every single person in this country, no matter where they are from, what they do or how much money they earn, deserves to live in a home that is decent, safe, secure and affordable.

“Along with the campaigners and political colleagues who have contributed to this thoughtful collection of essays, I am more committed than ever to building a modern, radical and successful conservative housing policy that works for everyone, whether they rent or own.”

‘Undermining the future of local communities’

Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “The housing emergency is robbing hundreds of thousands of people of a safe and secure home, and undermining the future of local communities from Cornwall to Northumberland.

“Private rents are skyrocketing, over a million households are stuck on social housing waiting lists and homelessness has almost doubled in the last 10 years, but time and time again housing gets left off the political agenda.”

She added: “The government needs to start listening to the growing range of voices calling for bold action on housing, an issue that will be critical at the next General Election.

“Access to a decent home is as vital as education or healthcare.

“The only way to make sure everyone has a home they can afford to live in, and one that allows them to thrive, is for the government to prioritise housing and build a new generation of good quality social homes with rents tied to local incomes.”

MPs who have contributed to the book

Other MPs who have contributed to the book include Damian Green, John Penrose, Shaun Bailey, Selaine Saxby and Jo Gideon.

Nicholas Boys Smith, the co-chair of the Building Better Beautiful Commission, and Toby Lloyd, the chair of No Place Left Behind Commission have also submitted essays.

Ryan Shorthouse, the chief executive of Bright Blue, said: “A Conservative Government, now in power for 13 years, needs to make genuinely affordable and appropriate housing – of all different types of tenure – accessible to a much wider proportion of the population, especially younger generations and those on modest incomes.

“There is no silver bullet to fix the housing crisis.

“But, without bold and urgent steps, the housing situation in this country is only set to get worse, to the detriment of the national interest and the very survival of the centre-right.

“We need new, radical solutions now.”

How to resolve the UK’s current housing crisis

The book offers more than 60 policy recommendations on how to resolve the UK’s current housing crisis, including:

  • Commit to an additional 90,000 social homes a year
  • Look to extend the standard contract length of tenancies to up to three years
  • Extend the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector
  • In the new National Planning Policy Framework, create a class that promotes specialist housing for older people
  • Create a genuine, reformed Community Right to Buy to tackle extractive ownership and take back control of assets of community value
  • Reform the compulsory purchase system to provide a fairer balance between landowner compensation and public benefit
  • Deliver a registration scheme for short term rental properties to allow local authorities to monitor them
  • Extend efficiency improvements to short term rentals
  • Extend the rollout of the homelessness prevention duty to every local authority
  • Encourage the government to release unused brownfield sites directly to be used by local authorities.

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David Houghton

12:00 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

As a landlord who takes vulnerable tenants, e.g with a history or drug or alcohol abuse, even leaving prison. Can I afford to offer them a 3 year tenancy at my risk. No, do I guess they just have to stay homeless. Own goal. Shelter!


12:05 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

How lovely
A book no less and only 60 recommendations on how to solve the housing crisis
I Know it will be a best seller and lots of trees chopped down to cope with the demand.
Maybe someone will start building the 90,000 new homes a year needed in the UK.


12:05 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

Three year minimum contracts plus the abolishing section 21 = Bye - Bye!


12:06 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

This sounds like a fabulous book! Which landlord representatives wrote essays?

Has anyone mentioned why housing is in this mess?

Has anyone mentioned Tax?

Has anyone mentioned excessive regulation?


12:18 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

As a former, enlightened, kind landlord who was much appreciated by his tenants I am now an ex-landlord. Instead I do short term lets and earn less for more work.
I was sympathetic to a needy individual who played me. He was a professional nightmare tenant and he knew the system : basically he might as well have been the local sheriff’s son and I a blackman in 1920’s Mississippi! While he did everything wrong both Shelter and the council treated him as one who could do no wrong. In theory I could kick him out: in practice he could drive me to the mental hospital! After many months he left when he discovered that I owned a shotgun - which I didn’t want nor use: it was given to me in lieu of an unpaid debt. He put 2 and 2 together: gun plus landlord he’d driven to distraction - with the aid of the sanctimonious people in the authorities ( people who would never house them if they were landlords).
He left!
I will no longer ever rent in this country where every landlord is treated like a Rhackman!
There are many like me who have had enough of this abuse when all we were doing was a great service to the community. Why stop there Tories? Why not support the nasty patient who beats up a nurse, doctor, ambulance driver?
Shelter and the councils are so superficial: label: landlord: rich/powerful/ greedy etc. Wrong! Many of us are very decent people!!!
The housing shortage is caused by those very people who preach good housing and lots of it. Unfortunately they are unintelligent!
Why should I have my life ruined by sanctimonious imbeciles??

Seething Landlord

12:42 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

The only sensible option is to build enough new social housing to satisfy the demand and at the same time abolish the ridiculous right to buy which is a clear disincentive to any such new building and just exacerbates the problem.


12:44 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

‘Everyone’ write to Michael Gove and state your case. I’ve written to many housing ministers over the years basically stating - in my area I charge £95 p.w. but after expenses - voids - taxes - arrears - etc I’m left with around £60 which takes a week to earn! The average self employed earns that in 1 hour!


12:57 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

Vote catching? Or am I being cynical?

Bernard Mealing

13:18 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

Are these going to be the councils that refuse to help those who are homeless because they didn't pay the rent were very bad tenants trashing the place and when threatened to be kicked out the council said we were bad landlords. Yet will they help these same people NO you made yourself homeless. Bye. so who will house these people

I have quite a number of S 8 and S 21 in the pipeline. Good bye tenants.

Tom McGrath

13:24 PM, 4th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 04/04/2023 - 12:42
Spot on.
The housing crisis we have today was caused by Margaret Thatcher's 'Right to Buy" social homes policy back in the 80s. A large proportion of those properties are now owned by private landlords, and are lost to the social sector.
Some political party needs to pledge to build 500,000 social/council dwellings, which would win them power, and then actually fulfil the pledge. The poor are always with us, and they need decent, affordable places to live. They don't need the "Right to Buy."

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