The Liberal Democrats have uncovered three glaring omissions in the Government’s Housing White Paper, including no mention of the one million homes target, no new funding for house-building and no decision on the future of council homes. They have also highlighted six U-turns by the Conservative government on housing over the last two years.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Housing Minister John Shipley said:
“This White Paper is utterly vacuous. It is not the ambitious, radical plan we need to solve the housing crisis.
“There is no mention of the one million homes commitment by 2020 and no new money for investing in the homes we need – it’s clear the Government has no real grip on the situation at all.
“We desperately need genuinely affordable housing and many more homes for rent and yet there was nothing announced to help the 35,000 people who have been on housing waiting lists for over ten years. It’s a disgrace.”
Notes for editors:
Three things that were conspicuously absent from the White Paper
- The Government’s one million homes commitment by May 2020. They have failed to give an answer to Tim’s question on this and they did not mention it in the White Paper or Statement. That’s because they know they will miss it.
- A lack of any new money for investing in new homes. Macmillan got Britain building 300,000 homes a year, but it cost him money. The Government is not putting its money where its mouth is.
- A decision on the future of council homes. Having committed last year to selling off more expensive council homes to raise money for the Right to Buy extension, they are now saying nothing about this and Sajid Javid hinted in the Chamber that it was under review. They are starting to realise it’s a bad and unworkable idea.
Six Conservatives U-turns on housing in the last two years
- Introduced ‘Pay to Stay’ for those in council homes and then abandoned it when they realised it was impossible to manage
- Extended Right to Buy to housing associations and then made it voluntary
- Refused to ban letting fees for renters because it was bad for the market, and then changed their mind
- Cut funding for supported housing and then extended it for another year while they think about it
- Introduced Starter Homes to replace other types of affordable homes, and then dropped its focus and tightened the rules 
- Introduced greener homes through building regulations and then scrapped them