Housing waiting lists 50-80% up under New Labour

Ecovillage Network UK office at evnuk.org.uk
Mon Nov 14 14:02:16 GMT 2005

Housing waiting lists nearly double under New Labour

10 Hillbrow Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 4QH, Tel 01233 645167 or 07747 014487

13th November 2005


The number of families on Council house waiting lists in South East 
England has risen 77% since 1997(1). Only one new council home is built 
for every five sold off, so low income households are being subjected to 
conspicuous neglect by the Government. Given the continuation of high 
prices for homes in the South East, many families and individuals cannot 
afford to purchase adequate housing.

The Government targets force councils to permit more housing in every 
district in the South East, but the councils are denied the funds to 
meet local needs. Steve Dawe comments:

"This scandalous neglect of the poorest groups is one of the worst 
aspects of Labour's social policies. Councils need the authority to buy 
property on the open market to meet local housing demand. About 83,000 
homes lie empty in the South East region. Unused space above retail 
developments or in empty business properties could be brought into use 
for homes.

"Councils have to submit housing target figures to the South East 
Regional Assembly by 9th December. They should be asking for the 
resources to meet local demand for housing, instead of just meeting the 
wishes of those seeking to move into the South East, and those  above 
average household incomes."

He adds: "Bringing empty and derelict property into use is a key element 
in urban regeneration. Our town centres, damaged by out of town 
developments, can be re-vitalised if councils are given a fair share of 
the public spending 'cake.' There is no need to build on greenfield 
sites whilst so much under-utilised property and derelict sites exist. 
The Government spends far too much at the centre. It wastes money in 
areas such as consultancy fees; subsidies to large-scale private sector 
enterprises; cost over-runs on computing and defence contracts."

ENDS c297 words
Further information: Steve Dawe, South East Press Officer, on 01233 
645167 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above.

1. The Observer- 13th November 2005. The national figure is 52%

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