Housing dealt huge blow

20 October 2010

george osborne

The government is denying responsibility for an entire generation’s ability to access affordable housing, Shelter said today in response to George Osborne’s comprehensive spending review.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: ‘It is a huge blow to see that housing, one of the most basic needs for every single person in this country, is facing some of the biggest cuts. 

‘A succession of governments has failed to address our housing crisis and today’s announcements suggest the coalition has firmly joined them in denying responsibility for  an entire generation’s ability to access decent, secure, affordable housing.’

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Mr Robb added: ‘The proposed figure of up to 150,000 affordable homes over four years represent less than a third of what this country urgently requires to bring the housing system from its knees, notwithstanding the half a million ‘lost’ homes referenced by the Chancellor himself.’

With unemployment set to rise and incomes tightening, Shelter welcomes the homelessness and supporting people grants and provision for those facing repossession being left fairly intact. However, these measures address those in urgent, dire need, and not the millions of people who already face a continual struggle to find and keep a decent, affordable home.

The combined worry of cuts to housing benefit and the slashing of the affordable house building subsidy, coupled with the absence of a long term strategy, will be devastating for the housing aspirations of thousands of young people consigned to increasing costs and bringing up their future families in an insecure private rented sector. The Chancellor acknowledged this generational shift in housing aspiration for under 35s in his speech.

Mr Robb continued: ‘Despite the range of housing policies announced today we have heard nothing on some of the most fundamental issues, such tackling this country’s exorbitant house prices or improving our ever growing private rented sector. 

‘The government must urgently set out its long term vision to solve our entire housing crisis or accept responsibility for the impact these policies will have on entire generations for years to come.’

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