The new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as he took office today, used the “h” word in his short (352 word), maiden speech as PM. He identified change with affordable housing as a priority of his administration. This is a significant recognition of the important role that the government plays in helping households access and maintain safe and affordable homes.
Here are some excerpts from the Labour web site, where the governing party calls for an increase in social housing (few politicians in Canada use the term social housing after it was demonized in the 1990s in a series of slurs by conservative politicians):
Labour also believes that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a decent, affordable home. There are now over a million more homeowners than there were in 1997. The quality of our social housing stock has risen rapidly, through the Decent Homes Standard which by 2010 will have improved 3.6 million homes, benefiting eight million social tenants, with investment of over 40 billion. We now need to look to increase provision of decent and affordable housing to meet future needs.
How do we meet Britains housing needs and aspirations?
How can we ensure greater provision of affordable housing in the future?
What can we do to minimise the environmental impact of new housing growth?
How can we provide more social housing, including council housing, alongside improving existing stock?