Review supply, not tenure

3 August 2010

David Cameron

The Prime Minister has sidestepped the fundamental cause of our housing crisis: the desperate lack of affordable housing supply, Shelter has said today.

In response to David Cameron’s suggestion that council houses should no longer be granted ‘for life’, Shelter's director of communications, policy and campaigns Kay Boycott said: ‘David Cameron today came face to face with the sort of human tragedy we see every day at Shelter, with millions forced to live in unacceptable conditions.

‘Whilst it is crucial the Government asks questions about how we tackle our growing housing crisis, we do not believe the bigger question in housing policy is security of tenure for new tenants.

‘Recent forecasts estimate that housing delivery could fall below 100,000 next year for the first time since 1923. Yet the Prime Minister has sidestepped the fundamental cause of our housing crisis, the desperate lack of affordable housing supply.

‘In addition, investment in proposals of this kind may not, in reality, offer a cost saving to the public. For example reviewing tenure could cost local authorities huge amounts of money to implement, creating an army of bureaucrats to undertake these reviews, leaving us no better off and our most vulnerable members of society at risk.

‘To justify taking away the only bit of safety and security the poorest and most vulnerable in our society have, it would need to be proved beyond a doubt through a rigorous, evidence based consultation that there would be a significant benefit for those in housing need.’

Please note: these are only suggestions and if the proposals were to go ahead they would only affect new tenants, not existing tenants.

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