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Good housing for all is a pillar of a civilised society

End The Housing Crisis

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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Written by Kate Henderson | Posted on 20th February 2015

Kate is Chief Executive of Britain's oldest charity concerned with planning, housing and the environment, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). She is responsible for leading the Association’s efforts to shape and advocate planning policies that put social justice and the environment at the heart of the debate. Kate joined the TCPA in early 2007 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2010. She has raised the TCPA’s profile through a range of campaigns and policy initiatives, most notably around Garden Cities, affordable housing, poverty and climate change. Kate has been involved in a number of government panels and independent commissions including the government’s 2016 Zero Carbon Taskforce and the independent Lyons Housing review. Kate is a visiting professor at the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London and in 2014 Kate, and her colleague Hugh Ellis, wrote Rebuilding Britain Planning for a better future published by Policy Press.

Website: http://www.tcpa.org.uk/