Housing waiting lists debate

12 February 2009

House of Commons debates Opposition motion and Government amendment on housing waiting lists.

Opposition motion:

HOUSING WAITING LISTS

Mr David Cameron Grant Shapps Mrs Caroline Spelman Mr Stewart Jackson Justine Greening Mr Patrick McLoughlin

That this House notes that social housing waiting lists have increased to a record 1.8 million families, over 4.5 million people, over the last 12 months; recognises that the Government’s policies have reduced levels of house-building across all tenures; cautions that the number of families waiting for social housing is rising to record figures; expresses serious concern that the number of children living in temporary accommodation has doubled in the last 10 years; warns that the Government’s changes to the system for counting rough sleepers will drastically under-estimate the problem; further notes that the Government’s top-down policies with regard to housing have strangled it with red tape; and is concerned about the implications of the Government’s housing policies for the future supply of housing in general and for families and the most vulnerable in society in particular.

Government amendment:

The Prime Minister Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer Ms Harriet Harman Secretary Hazel Blears Mrs Margaret Beckett Mr Iain Wright

(b) Line 1, leave out from ‘House’ to end and add ‘notes that the Government is investing over £8 billion between 2008 and 2011 to increase the supply of social and affordable housing, has invested over £29 billion since 1997 to bring social housing up to a decent standard and has made £205 million available for a mortgage rescue scheme to support the most vulnerable home owners facing repossession so they can remain in their home; further notes that there has been a 74 per cent. reduction in rough sleeping since 1998, that the long term use of bed and breakfast accommodation as temporary accommodation for families provided under the homelessness legislation has ended and that since 2003 the number of people who have been accepted as owed a main duty under the homelessness legislation has reduced by 60 per cent.; further notes that the Government has helped more than 110,000 households into low cost home ownership since 2001; believes that the introduction of enhanced housing options services provides tailored housing advice reflecting a household’s individual circumstances while choice-based lettings schemes give social housing applicants greater choice over where they want to live; and further believes that the Government has taken measures to make best use of the social housing stock such as tackling overcrowding and under-occupation.’.

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