Country’s housing crisis needs fixing immediately, says Rother Valley MP Sir Kevin Barron

Sir Kevin Barron (photo by Richard Maude)
Sir Kevin Barron (photo by Richard Maude)

Urgent action is needed to fix the housing crisis and increase the number of affordable homes to rent and buy, both in our constituency and across the country, says Sir Kevin Barron.

I am concerned that the government’s record on housing is nine years of failure on all fronts: a decrease in real-terms government funding for new affordable homes, 30,000 fewer social rented homes built each year, a huge increase in private renting with households paying ever-higher rents;,and rough sleeping up by 165 per cent since 2010.

The latest figures show that, compared to 2010, there has been a 97 per cent decrease in the number of new government-funded homes completed for social rent.

While ministers have scrapped the housing revenue borrowing cap for local authorities, I do not believe this alone will be enough to fix the housing crisis as too many councils have been left with little or no housing stock as a result of the Right to Buy scheme.

I support plans to build one million new genuinely affordable homes.

I believe councils and housing associations should be backed with new funding, powers and flexibilities to ensure they can build at scale.

Alongside investment in new council homes, I also believe the government should end the Right to Buy to prevent the continued loss of our social housing stock.

n BT has proposed to close the telephone kiosks across Rother Valley as they have been identified as unviable. BT has informed us that they are not seeking to remove any payphones which are in suicide hotspots, accident black spots or in an area without any mobile coverage. The council is carrying out public consultation on the proposal.

Comments should be submitted through the council website at www.rotherham.gov.uk/consultations by 5pm on October 24.