11 thoughts on “Homelessness in the USA and Britain

  1. Wednesday 16th December 2015

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    – Lowest house-building since the 1920s – Homelessness up 36 per cent under Tories – Rough sleeping rises by 55 per cent
    FIVE YEARS of Tory failure on every aspect of housing is a “systematic assault” against working-class people on modest and low incomes, MPs told the Commons yesterday.

    Labour picked through the Conservatives’ “shameful” track record, which includes unprecedented rates of rough sleeping, the lowest level of peacetime house building since the 1920s and the neglect of social housing.

    Shadow housing minister John Healey reeled off figures revealing the damaging extent of the crisis, slamming Housing Minister Brandon Lewis and his predecessors for “fiddling figures and definitions” as to how many properties they built and what “affordable housing” means.

    “After spending the last five years blaming Labour, the Tories have their own track record in government and on housing it’s five years of failure across the board,” Mr Healey blasted.

    He said that the Tories built the fewest council homes for more two decades after slashing funding by 60 per cent in 2010. There were just 9,590 new council properties last year compared to 33,180 in Labour’s last year in office.

    More than 54,000 homeless people were accepted by local authorities as being in “priority need” for housing in 2014-15 — an increase of 36 per cent since the Tories first came to power.

    Rough sleeping has also increased by 55 per cent, rising from 1,768 in 2010 to 2,744 last year.

    The Tories have failed to deliver like-for-like local replacements of social homes sold through the Right to Buy scheme.

    Only one in eight homes flogged to tenants at a discount has been replaced, while council housing waiting lists grow longer across Britain.

    As well as the further sell-off of housing association (HA) and council homes, the government’s plan for so-called “starter homes” is an “insult and mockery,” Mr Healey said.

    Buyers would need a salary of £50-80,000 and deposit of £40-100,000 to afford one, according to housing charity Shelter.

    Since David Cameron became Prime Minister, the number of households that own their home has dropped by 205,000 and the number of homeowners under 35 has fallen by a fifth.

    Labour built almost two million homes in its 13 years in power and the year with the lowest number built — 124,980 homes in 2009 — is still higher than the 117,720 that were built under the Tories last year, according to Department for Communities and Local Government data.

    Mr Lewis admitted that the Tories “must do more to meet the housing needs of our nation” and they they should “supercharge [their] efforts.”

    Construction union Ucatt acting general secretary Brian Rye said that the Tories’ proposed Housing and Planning Bill was “dictated by right-wing ideology” seeking to benefit only landlords and those on high incomes.

    “Their aim is to strip Britain of all social housing. They really have no objection to rising house prices as it benefits the rich and thus they pay lip-service to any increase in house building,” he said.

    “Social housing was invented to save the poor from exploitative slum landlords. Those dark days look set to return if this Tory government gets its way.”



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