West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has joined a cross-party group of MPs calling for government action on social housing from Housing Secretary James Brokenshire.
The cross-party letter demands answers on the Social Housing Green Paper which has been delayed and not published, as promised, before recess by government.
Currently, 1.16 million households remain on social housing waiting lists, with more than 123,000 homeless children living in temporary accommodation. England’s chronic lack of social housing has now reached the lowest point since records began. Government statistics show that where nearly 40,000 social homes for rent were built in 2010-11, this has fallen to just 5,380 in 2016-17.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“It is our belief that an ambitious social housing programme is fundamental to solving the current housing crisis and that this Government must take a leading role in directly commissioning social homes where the market fails to deliver.
“Social housing provides affordable accommodation for those on lower incomes and it is a vital safety net for vulnerable groups, as well as being the most cost-effective and efficient way to build the large number of homes this country needs.
“It is evident that social housing has become far from affordable in recent years, as existing rents have risen and many new homes are let at higher, market-linked ‘affordable rents’. More than half of families currently living in temporary accommodation in England are in employment, demonstrating that ‘affordable rents’ are not, in fact, affordable for many working people.”
The green paper further calls for the prioritisation of homes let at rents which reflect the earnings of those likely to occupy them, rather than those linked to the dysfunctional private rented market.
Joining MP Rosie as a co-signatory were MPs including Labour’s Matt Western MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Campaign for Council Housing, Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Helen Hayes MP, Green’s Caroline Lucas MP and Lib Dem’s Spokesperson for Housing Wera Hobhouse.