The TV debate tonight could go one of two ways:
Either we’ll spend the evening hearing about “empty-chairs” who “agree with Nick” that “met a man on Hampstead Heath” “eating a pasty (tax)”? Or politicians will skip the sound-bites and tell us what their plans are to end the housing crisis.
We’re hoping for the latter.
In the meantime, here are the three things we actually want to hear about in tonight’s debate:
1. how they’ll build the homes we need
It takes over a decade to save up for a home now. And rent costs are sky-high.
We’re only going to fix these problems if we build more homes. Including plenty of affordable ones. This debate we want to hear how the parties plan to do it (and if they’re looking for any answers, we already did the homework here).
2. how they’ll give renters a better deal
Over 1.5 million families with children now rent privately. But too many families can get lumbered with short-term contracts and unpredictable rent increases. And the average renting household now spends 40% of their income on renting.
Too often families will find themselves having to move unexpectedly, wrenching themselves from one place to the next. All because they can’t get any stability from private renting.
3. how they’ll protect those of us at risk of losing our home
4 million people are only one pay-cheque from losing their home. And with people’s rents and mortgages so expensive, it only takes a sudden illness, or a job loss for people to be at risk of losing their home.
We need a decent safety net – there to catch us when we fall on hard times. How will the parties put it in place, maintain it and protect it? We want to know.
Our priorities for whoever forms the next government are clear: tackle the housing crisis – by building more affordable homes; fixing private renting; and protecting our safety net.
Hopefully we’ll start to hear how these things can be achieved tonight.
Got your own thoughts on what you want to hear in the debates? Tweet @shelter and join in too.
If you want to help us, sign our petition calling on politicians to build more affordable homes: www.shelter.org.uk/actnow