Don't cut housing, Shelter urges

19 October 2010

Campbell Robb

The planned cuts to housing in the government’s spending review will be devastating, Shelter has warned today.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive said: ‘The rumours of what we can expect in tomorrow’s spending review suggest the coalition government is severing the link between the state and one of our most basic requirements. The above average cuts to housing mean it has firmly turned its back on those most impacted by our affordable housing crisis.

Shelter is warning of a triple threat:

  • cuts to housing benefit in the emergency budget
  • slashing of the affordable house building subsidy
  • changes to tenancies and council house rents

These, combined with a lack of vision for the nation’s long term housing needs, will be devastating. Join Shelter's campaign for more affordable housing

Mr Robb said: ‘These policies, and more importantly lack of policies to address our housing crisis, will see the door firmly closed on the aspirations of a whole generation for decent, secure, affordable housing to rent or buy. The gap between the housing haves and have nots will dramatically widen.’

With homelessness increasing, one million children growing up in overcrowding, and the average age of a first time buyer at 37*, it is only too apparent how our lack of affordable housing has created a housing market at breaking point for almost everyone.

Mr Robb added: ‘These proposals reduce access and security to housing for some of the poorest and most vulnerable but there aren’t any policies to address exorbitant house prices or improve our ever growing private rented sector.

‘A succession of governments has failed to address an issue that is vitally important to every person in this country but this government’s package of reforms are not thought through as to how they will impact ordinary working families.

'Protecting NHS spending and education while introducing policies that will see more children living in damp and overcrowded conditions simply does not add up.’

‘If the government does not set out its long term vision to solve our whole housing crisis urgently it must accept responsibility for the impact on child poverty, a lack of access to decent, affordable housing and already increasing levels of homelessness.’

*relates to a first time buyer receiving no parental assistance

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