A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ruth Kelly on Social Housing

I saw Ruth Kelly speak on housing policy at the Fabians today.

Some good thinking - as well as proposing getting people on the home ownership ladder with the option of owning 10% of their council or housing association home (and reinvesting the proceeds in new stock) - because research shows more than 50% of tenants aspire to own their home but most can't afford full ownership or current shared-ownership schemes - she said in answer to questions “yes we need to build more social homes … more council homes, more housing association homes.” She suggested there was funding to come for building social housing in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

I hope this happens sooner rather than later - there is a huge shortage of social (and intermediate affordable) housing across inner London and most of my caseload as a ward councillor is overcrowded families in small flats who desperately need a new larger home.

For the commenters on previous posts claiming not to be able to tell the difference between Labour and the Tories, do they think Tory shadow ministers care about social housing tenants or would be in favour of building more social housing? I have personal experience of Tory politicians saying they don't want social housing included in new developments because they "don't want more of those kind of people in their constituency". Would the Tories have invested billions in the Decent Homes programme like we have so that every council tenant will get a minimum standard of warmth and weatherproofing and a modern kitchen and bathroom? I doubt it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was there anything mentioned on the environmental standards to which these properties should be built?

Given the current prominence of environmental issues, social housing should take a lead here. Simple things like proper insulation and energy saving bulbs should be a given. More expensive items like photo-voltaic cells and wind turbines should not just be the preserve of the upper middle class consciences.

Given the Chancellor's encouraging stance on stamp duty (reduced for green houses from memory), it would be a pity if new social housing was to find itself still subject to stamp duty as it did not comply. cf Britspin's post on "striving" - eventually people will want to sell their stake and move on

8:32 pm, February 13, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes - Kelly said greener homes was one of her 4 priorities as homes generate 27% of UK carbon use.

7:51 am, February 14, 2007


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