THE NATIONAL HOUSING SITUATIONCategory: Land + People
The national housing situation had reached crisis proportions, Mr Richard Burman, prospective candidate for Leek, said. Fewer new properties were being built than at any time since the war and the shortage of houses for rent was equalled only by the shortage of money for purchase.
He successfully moved a resolution condemning any government that failed to provide for the basic human right to be adequately housed and pledging the next Liberal Administration to give priority to adequate financial incentives for a sustained programme of home building for rent and for sale.
The resolution called on the Government to draw up and implement a tenant’s charter, set up tenant’s co-operatives, and ensure that large institutional hostels were not used to house the homeless for longer than three months, that bed and breakfast accommodation were never used and local authorities encouraged to use shortlife property instead, that district aid centres were opened in every district council area, and that every housing authority employed a housing welfare officer.
Mr Burman said that for far too long the housing sector had been treated as a tool for electoral advantage.
Mr Christopher Greenfield, prospective candidate for Leeds, North-East, complained about the waste of resources involved in demolishing sound houses for redevelopment. He moved an amendment to add a statement that efforts to increase the national housing stock should be redoubled by putting emphasis on improvement and by channelling resources from speculative commercial building into home building.
Mr Gordon Lindsay, prospective candidate for Birkenhead, spoke of many complaints in his area about poor management of municipal housing stock.
The amendment was carried, together with a second amendment to ensure that local authorities used short-life properties for housing the homeless.
(The Times, September, 1974)