DAVID DREW: Grenfell is a national scandal

david drew grenfell is a national scandal - DAVID DREW: Grenfell is a national scandal
david drew grenfell is a national scandal 2 - DAVID DREW: Grenfell is a national scandal

THE lack of affordable homes in Stroud affects so many families, which is why I spoke in two parliamentary debates on housing this week to outline ways to tackle the crisis.

Firstly, we need to reform the planning system and house-building targets.

Currently, government targets are putting pressure on Stroud District Council to allocate more land for housing, but so far these targets are placing more green fields at risk while failing to deliver the social housing and affordable homes we desperately need.

Secondly, the way housing support is calculated in Stroud must be changed so that it more fairly reflects the rental price of property here. Currently our Local Housing Allowance is tied to Gloucester rents, which means that people claiming this benefit are priced out of Stroud.

I raised this with Housing Minister Kit Malthouse in the parliamentary debates and I am hopeful he will listen to my concerns about this policy, which splits families and penalises those on low incomes.

Thirdly, Right to Buy has reduced the amount of affordable and social housing available.

It is a particular tragedy when council-built homes end up in the private sector and tenants find themselves paying vastly higher rent than their council-tenant neighbours.

Here in Stroud, we are fortunate that we continue to have council housing managed by our district council. But we must protect and enhance that provision, or we will lose it.

On Saturday, I joined Unite in Gloucester to mark the second anniversary of the Grenfell fire.

The fact that families affected are still in temporary accommodation is a national scandal and is symptomatic of our broken housing system.

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