Tory Minister criticises Private And Social Renting at Shelter conference

Two ‘high profile’ Tory MPs addressed delegates attending the Shelter conference at which the charity stated that around six million private tenants are being “held back” in life.

According to Shelter’s recent poll more than half of private tenants “equivalent to 5.8m people” are unable to save because of their housing and living costs.
The charity is demanding  for more investment from the government to significantly increase social housing stock to provide a much needed alternative for PRS tenants who cannot afford to buy their own homes, and of course to drastically reduce the homelessness crisis.
In his speech the Housing Secretary Michael Gove promised to ‘tilt’ government funding to build more social renting housing stock, however he was unable to hold himself back from taking a swipe at the private rental sector.
He said: “We’ve reached a situation for a variety of reasons where … the availability of social housing is simply inadequate for any notion of social justice or economic efficiency.”
“The quality of the private rented sector, the circumstances in which people find themselves, the inadequacy of so many of those homes, the fragility and vulnerability that so many people find in their daily lives … is insupportable and indefensible … that is a function of broader supply questions, but it is also a critical function of our failure to ensure that there are homes that are genuinely affordable for rent, our failure to ensure that there are more social homes.
“If we want to have functioning communities, if we want to have our cities and towns having places where keyworkers and individuals who keep our public services going can ensure that they have a decent roof over their heads and raise a family in stability and security, then we need more social homes.”
And former Prime Minister and Conservative party leader Theresa May, told the delegates: “One of the challenges that I set myself when I spoke from the steps of Downing Street at the beginning of my premiership, was to continue the vital work of making this a country where each and every person has a safe and secure home to call their own.
“Because our homes are our foundation. Ask almost any question about social fairness or the economy and the answer so often comes back to housing. 
“High housing costs are the at the heart of failing social mobility. Fundamentally it is a conservative ethos that whether you own your own home or rent in the social sector residents deserve security, dignity and the opportunity to build a better life.
“We know our housing system is broken but the housing crisis in this country began not because of a blip lasting a year or because of a parliament but because not enough homes were built over many decades.”
Commenting on next month’s Queen’s Speech, May said: “For too long, my party has been seen in many peoples’ eyes as the party only of homeownership. Indeed, dare I say it, our policies have too often made it seem that way.
“But we are the party of decent homes for all, be they people who want to rent their home or to own their own home. Moreover, supporting those struggling to find a home to rent is in no way contrary to boosting homeownership.”
“The Queen’s Speech does give an opportunity to bring forward the measure that require primary legislation including those reforming regulation of the private rental and social tenants that will tip the scale in favour of fairness.”
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate added: “A long line of governments have focused on homeownership schemes that are only for the better off, rather than what most local families need – a secure home they can afford.

“Unstable private renting is a lifetime prospect for millions of people, who are stuck paying private rents that leave them with no breathing room or opportunity to save for their future. Families want to put down roots and be an active part of their community, but their housing is holding them back. 

“Good social housing is as vital as education or healthcare, but it has been deprioritised for decades. If we try to level up without social housing, we will only push people out.”




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