Property campaign launched in Westminster

Property campaign launched in WestminsterA new housing campaign has been launched in Westminster in a bid to encourage the government to build more social homes.

Social Housing Under Threat (SHOUT) has been set up by a number of housing professionals and campaigners.

It claimed there should be more of a focus on building social homes, as opposed to predominantly concentrating on affordable homes.

The campaign group has called upon the government to build 100,000 new social rented homes, which could be financed by a combination of removing or relaxing council borrowing rules and issuing more grants.

Colin Wiles, SHOUT campaigner and housing commentator told 24dash news: "All of us had been dismayed by the ongoing stigmatization of social housing tenants, the cuts in funding, the squeeze on new homes and the introduction of misguided schemes like the affordable homes programme.

"We felt that the sector was losing its way, being forced down a road of increasing commercialisation and higher rents and, most importantly, losing its core product through the right to buy and conversions."

This week marks the formal launch of the SHOUT campaign, which is backed by politicians across the political spectrum.

The main aim of the group is to boost the number of social homes in the capital. It was set up in response comments made last year by former housing minister John Healey in which he urged those working and living in social housing to "rise up" and defend it. 

Mr Healey said the increase in right-to-buy discounts, the affordable rent programme and the cuts in spending were signs of the coalition government's reluctance to build more social homes.

Last month, a survey published by the Home Builders Federation revealed that meeting the government's target of 200,000 homes a year was impossible.

Three-quarters of its respondents thought annual output of fewer than 180,000 was more realistic for the UK.

Published 18th June, 2014

© 2014 Estates IT Limited

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