Union renews calls for major investment in new build affordable housing


UCATT has renewed its call for a major increase in the building of social housing for rent after new figures showed a dramatic increase in working households claiming housing benefit.

A report by the National Housing Federation has found that the number of working households claiming housing benefit has nearly doubled since 2008. In total 903,440 working households are now claiming housing benefit.

The report also found that the cost of private renting has increased by 37% in the past five years and is set to increase by a further 35% by 2018.

UCATT general secretary Steve Murphy said: “These figures are a damning indictment on the long–term failure of government housing policies. The cost of housing is simply too high for far too many families.”

UCATT has been campaigning for a major investment in new build social housing for genuinely affordable rent in order to tackle the increasing housing waiting list and to give families a genuine alternative to private renting. A major social house building strategy would also help to kickstart the construction industry and help to get many unemployed construction workers back to work.

As part of the government Comprehensive Spending Review in October 2010, investment in new build social housing was cut by 60%.

Steve Murphy said: “We must provide large-scale funding for councils to build social housing for rent; in order to provide decent affordable homes for families and to prevent them being trapped by high rents and forced to rely on benefits.”

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