I beg to move,
That this House
notes with concern the ongoing shortage of housing and the housing crisis across England;
further notes with concern the number of families in temporary accommodation and the number of people rough sleeping;
acknowledges that there are over one million households on housing waiting lists;
recognises the Government’s target to build 300,000 new homes each year;
acknowledges that this target has been missed in each year that the Government has been in office and that the number of homes constructed by housebuilding companies that are deemed affordable is insufficient;
notes the pay ratios between executives and employees in FTSE 350 housebuilding companies;
and calls on the Government to tackle the housing crisis as an urgent priority.
I thank the Backbench Business Committee for granting time for today’s debate, and all the Members who will participate. It is amazing to see so many Members here, given the week we have had. At the request of Madam Deputy Speaker, I have stripped quite a lot from this speech because so many people want to speak—I will do my best. I want to give credit to the High Pay Centre and the best possible exposition of its amazing research for this debate on the state of the house building industry.
No Member of this House, whatever their party, can but be fully aware of the crisis in housing and homelessness in all our constituencies. I will open the debate by looking at the scale of the current housing crisis, by considering the record of the FTSE 350 house building companies and their contribution to solving this crisis and finally, and most amazingly, by analysing the utter pay inequality that is rife across the British house building industry.
On streets across our country and on the very doorstep of Parliament, British citizens who simply cannot afford a place to call home are sleeping rough. For the general public they are the visual representation of our homelessness crisis. As highlighted by the Children’s Commissioner last month, homelessness is far more common in 21st-century Britain.
Not a single week goes by without a normal, hard-working family in my constituency being evicted from their privately rented property and sent to temporary accommodation miles away from family, their schools and their jobs. They join over 83,700 households across our country, including 124,000 children, who are living in temporary accommodation.