On Monday, I asked the Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell MP, why the Tory Government is failing to build the houses that are needed over the border in England.
I pointed out to the Minister that the Labour controlled Flintshire County Council has worked tirelessly with the Labour controlled Assembly to deliver 600 new council homes in Flintshire.
The Minister failed to give a decent answer to how the Conservative Government are going to tackle the housing crisis in England. This is disappointing as the solution to the housing crisis is simple: build more houses.
Labour is Wales, despite facing opposition from the Tories, has redirected resources to ensure that the good quality social housing is built. Government is all about choice and the choices made by the Tories show that they are against the many and only for the few.
On Monday, I asked the Housing Minister for England, Gavin Barwell MP, if he would welcome the work of Flintshire County Council to build more council homes.
As you will be aware, Local Government and housing is a devolved matter in Wales. The work of Flintshire County Council demonstrates what we can achieve if we are serious about tackling the housing crisis. In England there is a Government who is reluctant to take on the issue of the housing shortage meaning more people are struggling to achieve their dream of owning their own home. Whereas in Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government and Flintshire County Council have worked hand in hand to deliver the much needed 500 new council homes.
These new homes will help people get truly affordable accommodation, delivers jobs for the local economy and helps the small and medium sized builders grow in troubled times.
The Minister referred to his new White Paper, which is designed to build more homes in England. However, his proposals merely scrape the surface of the underlying issues. If we are truly going to enable people to rent affordably or own their own home we must build. Simple as that. The UK Government is ducking this task, as they have for the past 7 years, but Labour has shown that in Government we can deliver the homes we need.
On Monday, I asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government, Marcus Jones MP, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the decision to cap housing benefit for supported accommodation at local housing allowance rates on homelessness.
The chief executive of the National Housing Federation – the umbrella body for housing associations – has made clear that “We want to put supported housing on a secure and sustainable footing for the long-term and we are not confident that the new system will guarantee this.” Read more “Communities and Local Government Questions: Housing Benefit Cap”