As another Housing Minister takes on the responsibility of solving the housing crisis, SHOUT has sent a letter outlining the recent consensus that's emerging around the provision of more social housing in the tenure mix of homes that need to be built. The full letter can be read by reading the rest of this entry.
In the letter, SHOUT's Martin Wheatley highlights that more social housing will be needed in future to enable the continuation not just of providing homes at rents people can afford, but also so that Right To Buy can be part of the wider package to encourage home ownership. The unanswerable economic case for social housing is also reaffirmed, with Capital Economics' report, recently referenced by the Civitas think-tank and in the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report on the Housing Market, sent along with the letter.
Dear Mr Barwell
I am writing on behalf of the SHOUT housing campaign to congratulate you on your appointment as Housing Minister and to wish you every success.
Our campaign (entirely run by volunteer tenants and housing professionals) was set up in 2014, with backing from politicians of all parties, including Gary Porter, to make the case for large scale public investment in genuinely affordable rented housing, as part of the big increase in housing development of all tenures which is needed. Though we understand you are not in a position to make definitive announcements at this stage, we were very pleased to see your acknowledgement that housing is needed across a mix of tenures, in your response to Kevin Hollinrake’s oral question yesterday. We agree that in the current economic and political situation, such pragmatism is needed as never before. Among other things, we would suggest that new genuinely affordable rental housing, subject to Right to Buy (which we support) is the most effective product available for enabling middle to low income households to move into home ownership.
Last year, we published research by City economics experts Capital Economics, setting out why they concluded that there is an unanswerable economic and fiscal case for a long term programme of investment in housing which people on low and middle incomes can afford. The report also argues that City sentiment would look positively on such a programme, and there could be ways of funding it which would not add to the headline spending totals. I am sending you Capital’s report with this letter, and we would be glad to discuss it with you further, if it is of interest.
(on behalf of SHOUT)