11:46 AM, 4th April 2023, About 11 months ago 31
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
The book offers more than 60 policy recommendations on how to resolve the UK’s current housing crisis, including:
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