An LGA report report released today shows that councils fear that the Conservative housing bill will see a sell off of homes that will not be replaced and a rocketing of homelessness in communities across Britain.
The survey of local authorities, treated as a snapshot by the LGA laid out their concerns starkly.
The key statistics from this survey are:
- 78% said there would be an increase in homelessness
- 90% of councils surveyed said their number of council homes would decrease
- 74% said the homes sold under RTB would not be replaced
- 82% said there would be less estate regeneration
The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to think again and take advantage of the remaining stages (Report and Third Reading) of the Housing Bill to change the law to help families in housing need.
Local Liberal Democrats leader Cllr Roger Hayes said:
"Residents of Bolton have told us that homelessness is a very real concern for them, with the number of rough sleepers increasing by a horrifying 700% over the past 2 years.
"Our recent amendment proposed at the budget sought to invest £0.5 million in helping to solve this issue by working with homeless families, specialist charities and housing associations to purchase and renovate currently uninhabitable buildings, bringing more affordable houses into the market and providing essential skills to aid employability. Unfortunately the proposal was unanimously voted down by Labour, UKIP and the Tories.
"This report just emphasises the importance of tackling the issue of homelessness head on and the Bolton Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to ensure the Council play their part in making sure no-one in Bolton goes to sleep at night without a roof over their heads."
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:
“The rise of homelessness because of the Government’s housing reforms is utterly appalling. The most vulnerable people in our communities are being completely overlooked. The blame for this lies firmly at the Government’s door.
“When is the Government going to do a proper assessment of the impact of their housing reforms on those most in need?”
Commenting on the results of the council survey which was initiated by Liberal Democrats within the LGA, leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said:
“This survey confirms our fears about the devastation that will be caused by the Government’s housing reforms. Liberal Democrats asked for this survey to be carried out because we suspected this disastrous impact.
“A huge reduction in affordable housing is forecasted across the country. The Tories are intent on destroying housing for those most in need.
“The housing crisis in Britain is desperate, yet the Government is busy giving cash handouts to help those with wealthy parents buy a nice home while the numbers of homes for everyone else is being slashed.
“We need to stop this before it’s too late. Liberal Democrats in the Lords have launched a major attack on the reforms and will be fighting them to the bitter end.”
---- Ends ----
Notes to Editors
1.Full LGA report here
2.The most recent Local Authority Data shows 101 households were considered homeless in Bolton between July-September 2015 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...
3.Rough sleeping statistic by local authority - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...