Good housing for all is a pillar of a civilised society
The facts on the housing crisis are as stark as the human misery it engenders; the number of young couples, families and individuals unable to get a home, let alone take a first step on the housing ladder, tells its own story of shattered dreams and broken relationships. All too many of us have experience the ‘housing block’: an inability to raise a deposit for a mortgage or a rental property, and unable to find a suitable home – indeed, any home – relatively near a place of work.
For those on low pay, where either affordable or social housing is a tenure of necessity, the choice is often non-existent. We must act on a crucial guiding principle: good-quality housing, for people of all incomes and circumstances, is a pillar of a civilised society.
As a nation, we are simply not providing for essential low-paid workers – whose employment underpins an economy on which we all depend – or for people on average incomes trying to get onto the housing ladder.
To do so, we have to change the terms of what has become a negative debate, full of contradictions. Development is so often seen as a threat. Headlines in some newspapers, driven more by emotion more than by hard evidence, scream of both green belts and countryside at risk. But emphatically they need not be – provided we have a planning system that is fit for purpose. Any threat comes from further deregulation of the planning system.
Rising above party politics, the TCPA has long campaigned for ‘a decent home for everyone’. Today, we need a consensus that housing is good for Britain. Advocates for new, high-quality housing need to seize the economic, social and environmental high ground to explain why new housing is both necessary and desirable.
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