I am a single mum living in a rented one bedroom flat in East London.
Here is what I would like to say to Philip Hammond and all the other rich landed MPs who continue to attempt to claim that building is the answer to this housing crisis which sees more and more families and households becoming homeless everyday.
Wealthy power holders and decision makers continue to pedal the same old line that we want to own houses, making spurious claims that giving out more planning permissions and building more will a make difference to people in crisis.
This is a lie.
Ask someone placed in temporary accommodation by Newham Council if any of the extensive building works happen across the borough and in particular around the Olympic park are making any difference to them what so ever?
People want homes, spaces we can make our own, feel safe in and watch our families grow. We get told that this is only possible if you own. That’s total BULL S**T.
Life time tenancies, in social housing, in the private rented sector, across the board. A before the last Tory government, before 1989, this was a reality. A right swept out from under us by the introduction of Assured Shorthold Tenancies and right to buy. I want security, not a mortgage and crippling debt.
How will building help those who are living in temporary accommodation because no landlord will rent to them solely on the basis that they claim housing benefit. I work 30 hours a week and I still need housing benefit to cover the exorbitant rent I am forced to pay to have a roof over my childs head. And to get that I was forced to lie about my income and had to ask others to lie about it too. Despite having paid over £75,000 in rent over the last 6 years, on time, every month.
So don’t tell me building is going to benefit anyone other than property developers and those already have a stake in the mysterious and impenetrable fortress which is the property market.
Philip, you say too many young people are struggling to get on the housing ladder due to a shortage of homes pushing prices sky high. I say too many people, young, middle aged and old, are not even given the chance to have a roof over their heads.
I want to see real solutions, the end of discrimination against people on housing benefit. An end to no fault evictions in the private rented sector. End section 21. An end to market rents and profiteering from peoples basic need for shelter. An end to the pedaling of the lie that owning is the only way to have autonomy. And please, stop using the phrase affordable in the same breath as any mention of any percentage of the market rate!
Its time to build 300,000 council homes a year.
Its time to tell landlords the glory days are over and they have to take responsibility for the part they play in this crisis.
Its time to provide homes, not build houses.