Saturday, 19 May 2012

The wider housing picture

There are a lot of challenges facing Reading when it comes to both housing and neighbourhoods over the next year but putting it into context we are not alone.  The National Housing Federation, which is the umbrella group for Housing Associations nationally has published it's latest assessment of the state of the UK Housing situation.  It's worth a read:

They introduce it by saying "Based on hard data, we hope our conclusions promote much needed debate on what needs to be done to fix our housing system. Keeping these issues at the top of the political agenda is the only way to secure them the attention, commitment and resources required to have a reasonable chance of tackling and solving this country’s housing crisis.
Edition 2 of The Housing Report finds ministers will need to significantly up their game to achieve their objective of meeting the nation’s housing needs and aspirations."

Worryingly the areas they highlight government policy as 'red' are all areas are particularly important for towns like Reading:

Housing supply remains on red, despite a small increase in overall completions, because of falling
starts and the collapse of affordable starts and completions coinciding with the early phase of the
new Affordable Homes Programme. Homelessness, help with housing costs and the affordability
of the private rented sector also remain on red as rough sleeping, the benefit claimant count and
private rents continue to rise. On overcrowding, which for the first time we have sufficient data to
score, the Government gets a red for failing to tackle the problem.


It is in this context that both Reading Labour and the council need to think about our local housing policy.