In the run up to the general election, the manifestos of the parties aim to tackle a variety of problems, including the record 4.5 million people on housing waiting lists. Gordon Brown has stated that housing associations, which are not-for-profit organisations, will play a key role in building a supply of affordable housing.
But Brown is hiding the fact that the number of affordable homes scheduled to be built over the next 10 years could be halved by government spending cuts. The government has guaranteed three million new homes by 2020, but The National Housing Federation has warned that figures in a pre-budget report suggest the housing budget could be cut by 17.98%
The NHF stated that if the cut went ahead, over half a million affordable homes would not be built, affecting 287,000 jobs. They also said that an extra 1.75 million people would be added to the already record breaking 4.5 million people on the waiting list for housing if the target was not met by 2020.
“The cut would deepen the national housing crisis and lead to the loss of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships,” said David Orr, Chief Executive Officer. He also commented on the negative effect of a lack of housing on housing and health, education and crime. He claimed that “ministers should give funding for the house building programme the same untouchable status as health, education and policing, and protect it from the coming savage cuts.”
This issue is amongst many causing controversy in the lead up to the general election and as usual, people have taken sides over the issue. Critics have claimed that the Tories plan to cut a further billion pounds from the housing budget and could stop thousands more houses being built. However, Tory supporters have argued that the current government have doubled the amount of people on the housing list since it took office. Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps argued “no one should take lectures from Labour housing ministers who seem to come and go faster than most people have hot dinners.