Action on housing wins MP's support

September 24, 2008 12:53 PM

Cambridge MP David Howarth supported a call for action to deal with social housing waiting lists and opposed free-standing eco towns at the Liberal Democrat autumn conference.

He backed Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrat County Councillor, Sebastian Kindersley who raised the issues at the conference in Bournemouth.

Mr Kindersley wants the Government to enable people for whom house purchase is out of reach to find houses to rent or secure a stake in homes of their own.

But he opposes the development of free-standing eco towns and wants new developments to be subject to local planning not imposed by central government.

Mr Howarth is also supporting a call at the conference the following day by Shadow Chancellor Dr Vincent Cable to allow councils and registered social landlords to borrow against their assets to buy up unsold properties and sites from developers to replenish the social housing stock.

"Cambridge is a city of high property values but ordinary salaries," said Mr Howarth. "Housing is a pressing problem for many people. Many Cambridge families could not possibly afford to buy the property that they occupy. Many fear their children will never be able to live in their own home in Cambridge.

"The pressure on social housing is immense. There is a crying need for more affordable housing.

"But the answer is not to build so-called eco towns, detached from established towns and cities which encourage excessive use of the car and lead to increased carbon emissions.

"Housing should be built where possible on brownfield land and closely linked to existing settlements," he added.

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