At Shelter we are clear that the only way to solve our national housing emergency is through investment in a new generation of social housing. The need for which is now more acute than ever given the inadequacies of our housing system that have been exposed by the pandemic.
In seeing social housing as a vital moral and economic need right now we are not alone and politicians from all political parties have also expressed their support in recent months. The letter that follows was recently sent from 16 Conservative MPs to the Prime Minister and underlines just how vital many Conservatives see this investment as being.
Re: Investment in Social Housing
Dear Prime Minister,
Like you, we are so proud of how our constituents weathered so much this year. This terrible pandemic has placed anxieties and uncertainties on so many and they met it with a strength of character typical of our people.
But let us be honest. We know that some in our society have faced a tougher time than others because of their housing situation. Recent data from the housing charity Shelter showed that 43% of private renters feel their home is too expensive for the quality they get, and 4 million private renters experienced various damp issues, pests, or electrical hazards in their home during lockdown
In June you committed to tackling this country’s great unresolved challenges of the last three decades and promised to build back better. Prime Minister, you have the right goal – and the right prognosis. Our country’s problems are not confined to those that sprang up from a market in Wuhan. While the nuances of our housing problems differ whether we are in West Brom or Exmouth, Warrington or Hastings, the reality is that all our communities need a safe and secure home.
Home ownership is the prize but as Conservatives we deal in reality, and it is simply out of reach for many of those who loaned us their vote last year. Too many people across the country have spent this year trapped indoors in housing not fit for purpose but accruing rents they could ill afford. We can invest better – let’s end the welfare dependency that could be invested in quality social homes and in doing so support the SMEs that will build them and enable people to save to support their dreams of homeownership.
Labour has treated social housing as somewhere you go when you have failed. We disagree – for us, social housing is a springboard to success and now is the time to own it.
An uncertain economic future is why we can’t miss the chance to level up and achieve what we promised the nation –by investing in the social stock this country has waited too long for. We need a new ambition to rescue the housing sector through a commitment to replace current plans with something more ambitious to see us through the difficult next two-years.
We hope that you seize this opportunity.
Shaun Bailey MP, Member of Parliament for West Bromwich West
Bob Blackman MP, Member of Parliament for Harrow East
David Davis MP, Member of Parliament for Heltemprice and Howden
Sally-Ann Hart MP, Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye
Tim Loughton MP, Member of Parliament for East Worthing and Shoreham
William Wragg MP, Member of Parliament for Hazel Grove
Tobias Ellwood MP, Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East
Damian Green MP, Member of Parliament for Ashford
Gordon Henderson MP, Member of Parliament for Sittingbourne and Sheppey
Simon Jupp MP, Member of Parliament for East Devon
Anne Marie Morris MP, Member of Parliament for Newton Abbot
Caroline Nokes MP, Member of Parliament for Romsey and Southampton North
Dan Poulter MP, Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
Andrew Rosindell MP, Member of Parliament for Romford
Andrew Selous MP, Member of Parliament for South West Bedfordshire
Charles Walker MP, member of Parliament for Broxbourne