Thursday, 11 November 2010

My letter published in today's Southwark News.

It is no surprise that the News had three separate stories on housing last week. The coalition government’s housing benefit proposals and the Labour council’s planning proposals have serious implications for many ordinary Southwark residents and even for the future of London as a whole. Local families worrying about their future are not interested in hearing political parties squabbling about who is to blame. They need to know that local and national politicians have solutions. We have a housing crisis because we have not been building enough social housing. This is why the average price of a home has climbed to £400,000. When house prices are so out of line with the salaries most people actually earn it is no surprise that rents and ultimately housing benefit costs have escalated greatly. Long-term, more social housing has to be built if the housing crisis is to be solved. If government wants to reign in housing benefit costs in the short-term they should hit the root of the problem and control the rents that landlords charge rather than the benefits paid to the poorest.

Noel Lynch

Chair, London Green Party

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