11 Oct 2013
An open letter to the new housing minister and shadow minister
Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb welcomes Kris Hopkins MP and Emma Reynolds MP to their new roles…
Dear Minister and Shadow Minister,
Congratulations on getting the best jobs in government and opposition. Housing is now a top 5 issue among voters, higher than education, crime or Europe. From ‘generation rent’ shunted from one expensive, unstable let to another, to homeless families stuck in B&Bs, to parents struggling to fund their kids from the Bank of Mum and Dad, nothing speaks to the hopes and anxieties of the British public like the idea of home.
You now have the opportunity to send a strong signal to homeless families and those unable to afford a reasonable place of their own that political leaders are on their side. Now is the chance to take the lead in reversing the failure of successive governments to tackle the housing crisis by building homes, making renting more stable, and protecting the safety net that prevents the loss of a home from trapping people in a downward spiral.
And we’re happy to help. For starters, we’ve saved you time wading through the paperwork by compiling our top 5 reading list.
- Build homes. Give hope to the next generation [£]. The case for house building by Tim Montgomerie.
- Solutions for the housing shortage. Here’s how we go about building the 250,000 homes we need per year, by fixing the land market, attracting more public and private investment, and bringing a more diverse range of organisations into the business of building homes.
- Homes for forgotten families – towards a more mainstream shared ownership market. A new generation of better shared ownership alongside social housing is the way to give ordinary families a stake in the stable home they want at a price they can afford.
- A better deal – towards more stable private renting. Renting is no longer the preserve of students and young professionals. There are now more than one million families with children renting privately. Yet rented homes do not provide families with the stability they need. The Stable Rental Contract would improve landlords’ returns and give renters the chance of a real home.
- The homelessness monitor. Independent analysis published by Crisis on the impact on homelessness of recent economic and policy developments.
The public understand their responsibility to do their bit – work hard and save where they can – and they want government to meet them half way. The current solutions aren’t enough to tackle this crisis. But the problem isn’t insurmountable – there is no shortage of bold yet realistic ideas developed by Shelter and others. We’ll look forward to working with you to bring them to life.