"The problem lies in successive governments failing to keep up with building properly affordable, good quality social housing..." Jodi Dunne
By Jodi Dunne
For me, the most important political issue of our times is housing. One look at the waiting lists of any major town or city in the country will tell you that demand has far outstripped supply and even in the dwellings that are being built, a 2017 report from The Independent newspaper in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy shows that over half a million new social housing projects fail to meet basic health and safety standards.
The problem lies in successive governments failing to keep up with building properly affordable, good quality social housing in the slipstream of Right To Buy and the more recent Help To Buy initiatives which satisfied the very noble aspirations of those wanting to own their own home for security and guarantee for the future yet failed to cater for those left behind.
The Labour Party has an ambitious plan to build 100,000 new homes nationally for every year of the next parliament in order to fix the housing crisis, and a local example can be seen with the Labour-run Harlow Council initiative to build more social housing in the town, utilising some of the skills base of HTS, which continues to be a success story in this and many areas besides.
These will be homes that are worthy of the name, prioritising brownfield sites with genuinely affordable rents.
From the foundation of a home, many building blocks of life can bloom: a job, family, friends and hope for the future. It is vitally important that in the next general election, we get a Labour government which will keep its promise to the country to build secure homes for all.