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Homes for Britain lands in Bristol for housing hustings

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When you say you are holding a housing hustings (a gathering for the public to ask the political parties representatives their burning questions) you tend to generate a healthy amount of interest but when you say you will have a very large inflatable house floating in the sky your interest then rockets.

Bristol is famed for its hot air balloons and on a clear, sunny day it is not rare to see one or two hovering over the city. So, a large inflatable house in the sky seemed fitting for Bristol.

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It also seemed fitting because the South West particularly is feeling the impact of the housing crisis with one of the lowest average wages in England and over a third of incomes being spent on rent, one of the highest in the country. Bristol also has some very expensive homes for anyone wishing to get on the housing ladder, with the average house prices almost nine times the average local income it makes becoming a homeowner a very distant aspiration for many.

There is absolutely no denying that we need more homes in the region both for ownership and for affordable rent and we also know that nowhere near enough homes are being built despite every new home built bringing major boost to our local economy. The purpose of the hustings today is to come together and ask the critical question of our main political parties; are they going to commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation and importantly how are they going to do it?

The hustings is hosted by United Communities Housing Association in their community centre in Lockleaze and today we’ve filled it; with housing professionals, developers, architects and members of the public wanting reassurance in actual terms that the political parties are taking the housing crisis seriously and will take real action after the election on 7 May.

Hustings

We have just two weeks until the general election, when the main decisions and plans will start to be made. The Homes for Britain campaign will continue. We have seen real successes with housing seen as a key election issue. But a lot can still be achieved in two weeks and in those following the election. We don’t always need a big inflatable house in the sky (although it certainly helps), we just need to get our message across and from the hustings today I think we are doing that loud and clear.


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Written by Kat Hart | Posted on 24th April 2015

Kat Hart is External Affairs Manager for the South West at the National Housing Federation