Miliband: Social housing a ‘national asset’

Former Labour Leader says social housing needs to be given more prominence by both leading political parties.

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Ed Miliband has told delegates at the Shelter Social Housing Commission report launch of the importance of social housing.

He said: “We are coming together cross party for a once in a generation transformation of the way we approach social housing.”

Speaking as Shelter calls on government to build over three million homes and introduce a new regulatory system, Miliband urged government to “start investing again in bricks and mortar”.

He added: “It is the bedrock of fixing the housing crisis in this country.”

Likening the need for more investment in social housing the same as transport, he called the tenure a “national asset”.

He said: “If we don’t invest in social housing, we will shell out more for housing benefit and the housing crisis will continue.”

When questioned after his address, Miliband conceded he was “not bold enough” in 2015 on housing. “That’s why I’m here today,” he said.

Also speaking at the launch event was Baroness Warsi, who said she came from a completely different ideology but has now come to agree with the proposals set out by the commission.

She pressed that it was the “real stories” that made her realise the importance of social housing, as well as the overwhelming evidence.

She added: “The social mobility story I am so proud of is not something that could happen now. They are now stories of the past.

“I think the Chancellor is going to have to ask the question: Is this issue big enough to make the investment?”

Shelter has now launched a campaign in which they are calling for public support for the proposals in the report.

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