SHOUT - the Campaign for Social Housing - was launched last year. The campaign began because we felt that traditional social rented housing was being attacked and its tenants denigrated. At present, the country wastes £25 billion a year on housing benefit and spends little more than £1 billion a year on investment in affordable housing. Yet much of this is spent on so-called "Affordable Homes" which, in many parts of the country are simply not affordable and are helping to create a generation of benefit-dependent tenants.
We believe that it makes much more sense to increase the level of investment in genuinely affordable social-rented homes, and to make a long-term switch of public money from housing benefit to bricks and mortar. If the country is able to build 200,000 new homes a year we believe that 100,000 of these should be social rented homes provided by councils and housing associations. Not only will this relieve pressure on the volatile housing market but it will help to create jobs and stimulate the wider economy.
One of our key aims is to commission a reputable piece of research that will prove the economic, moral and financial sense of making such a switch. In election year, we also want to contact all potential MPs and seek their support for our campaign. SHOUT is a cross party campaign and we want to make a difference, but we cannot do this without funds.
As a potential supporter, we would like to ask for your help. If you are able to make a donation to this worthwhile cause, to change the unsustainable course that the provision of housing is taking, we would very much appreciate it.
The SHOUT team.