Javid: Tackling housing shortfall a “moral duty”
Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid MP has described tackling the housing crisis as a “moral duty” in a speech to the Conservative Party Conference. This follows comments made by Prime Minister Theresa May in June, when she stated that:
“Unless we deal with the housing deficit, we will see house prices keep on rising. Young people will find it even harder to afford their own home. The divide between those who inherit wealth and those who don’t will become more pronounced. And more and more of the country’s money will go into expensive housing instead of more productive investments that generate more economic growth.”
Mr Javid made the comments at the launch of a £5 billion fund designed to help build over 250,000 new homes, which will be spent on infrastructure improvements, loans to small building companies, and fast tracking building projects.
Calling on local authorities and communities to play their part, Mr Javid said that the Government wants “to ensure everyone has a safe and secure place to live”.
This highlights the responsibility of individual councils to provide more housing locally, and is particularly relevant in Surrey. Across the county, house prices are the highest outside of London and an average home costs 12 times the average salary – and only half of the new homes needed to meet demand are being built.
Over the last five years an average of 219 new homes a year have been delivered in Spelthorne. If this rate of house-building continues, the borough will have an approximate shortfall of between 333 and 538 homes per year. This crisis will worsen for every year that the Council fails to deliver more housing, and will disproportionately affect those on lower incomes.
If future generations are to put down roots in Spelthorne, and continue to contribute to the local economy, the borough council has a moral responsibility to plan for a much higher rate of housing delivery now, rather than waiting for the crisis to become worse.
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