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Housing – Real problems and real solutions. Notes from NSCLP Member Mike Nobes

Presented by Mike Nobes at the General CLP Meeting of 8th September 2015

Mike Nobes and North Somerset CLP are very keen to hear your views, comments and suggestions on this key policy issue.

Please contact us on this email address:
office@northsomersetlabourparty.co.uk

It cannot be denied that the shortage of affordable and social housing will be one of the major problems facing a newly elected Labour Government.   Locally similar problems apply.

  1. Shortage of social and affordable homes

Locally, approximately 7,000 families are on the North Somerset waiting list.

Insufficient social housing

Purchase price locally is now about 10 times the average salary

  1. Private rents

Now are escalating and are now between 7 to 10% per year in some places

  1. Bedroom Tax

Unfair.  Affects families in many ways.  Problem for newly married couples.  Knock on effect will be to restrict visits by family members

Insufficient smaller houses

  1. Empty Houses

It is believed that over 500,000 houses and flats are currently empty

  1. Housing Benefit

Now paid to the tenant as opposed to the property owner, this present problems for some people who struggle with money management.

  1. Social Housing Sales

 

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

Related to numbered items above and for discussion.

  • Set ambitious building target.

The Labour Party should announce a major house building programme of at least 200,000 homes per year.

A reminder that between 1946 and 1951, Attlee’s government built over 1,000,000 homes, mainly social housing at a time of great economic difficulty.  In the 1960s, MacMillan’s government built 300,000 a year and Wilson’s government built 400,000 a year.

The knock on effect would be a huge increase in employment not only to the building industry but also in associated industries and services.

  • Private rents to be brought into line with social housing rent.

Re-introduce rent controls through a Fair Rent Bill.  Examine the Rent to Rent schemes

  • Abolish the Bedroom Tax
  • Suggest a three year limit before the Council takes over empty properties
  • Pay Housing Benefit directly to the property owner, both private and social
  • Award discount as a deposit on private house purchase thus retaining housing in the social sector. This also means that in effect a social house is obtained at a low cost.

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