Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 4°C


We have a housing crisis. Here’s how to fix it

PUBLISHED: 20:42 18 August 2018 | UPDATED: 20:42 18 August 2018




Ipswich Borough Council leader DAVID ELLESMERE writes about what needs to happen to solve Britain’s housing crisis.

David Ellesmere. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDavid Ellesmere. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

There is no doubt that Britain has a serious housing crisis.

Nearly 5,000 people are estimated to have slept on our country’s streets in 2017, three times the number in 2010. Many more are sleeping in hostels or on sofas.

A whole generation of people will never be able to afford their own homes.

Nowhere near enough new homes – and especially social houses – are being built.

It has got so bad that even this government realises it must do something.

Over the past week it has published a Rough Sleeping Strategy and a Social Housing Green Paper published.

Both of them are intended to show that the government recognises the problem and takes it seriously.

Unfortunately, they do precisely the opposite.

The measures put forward are timid and there is little or no recognition that government policies are causing many of the problems.

£100million to tackle rough sleeping sounds good (although, spread over the 10 years of the strategy, it is not particularly impressive) but the communities secretary was forced to admit that none of this was new money and at least half of it has already been announced.

Not a single penny of new money was announced for more social housing.

The Rough Sleeping Strategy was prepared without reference to the Department for Work and Pensions or the NHS but the government’s benefit policies, in particular Universal Credit, along with government cuts to drug treatment and mental health services are a major contributory factor in the increase of homelessness.

The most useful proposals are where the government is scrapping its own ill-thought out policies such as the forced sale of “high value” council houses and the ending of secure tenancies.

Government support for new council housing is restricted to “high price” areas. But every council in the country has got thousands of people on its housing waiting list.

The government should set a target of 100,000 new social houses a year, lift artificial borrowing restrictions on councils and significantly increase the amount of funding for new social housing.

Unless this happens, everything in the two papers is just tinkering around the edges and will make no difference to Britain’s housing crisis.

The trial of three teenagers who face charges arising out of a stabbing at the McDonald’s branch in Ravenswood earlier this year has got underway at Ipswich Crown Court.

An ex-Ipswich Town player who worked with asbestos before becoming a professional footballer died of industrial disease, an inquest heard.

Ipswich Citizens Advice revealed the shocking case of the mother, who had depression and anxiety after giving birth, in a bid to call for new laws to crack down on debt collectors who flout the rules.

Officers stopped a vehicle with a faulty light to discover a child in a car seat not secured by a seatbelt.

Drivers were caught in delays after a car burst into flames near to the Copdock interchange on the A12.

It wouldn’t be Monday without a scroll through our weekly Yates gallery - can you see anyone you know?

It may have been 100 years since 26 brave servicemen gave their lives for their country.

The German budget supermarket chain is moving into a town still reeling from the loss of its M&S and Asda.

It is set to be a “messy week” in our region – with high winds and scattered showers making for a tumultuous forecast as the days draw in.

Teaching young people new “thinking skills” will make a “critical difference” to teenagers involved in gangs and violence, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24