Zoe McKendree, 33, told the BBC that she spends more than a third of her pay on rent for her shared flat. She dreams of having the keys to a home of her own, but for her and most people of her generation, let alone my generation, that remains a distant prospect. Instead, Zoe has to contend with what she describes as “callous” landlords and escalating costs. She has also experienced numerous no-fault evictions, where private landlords evict tenants at short notice without good reason.
This country is deep in a housing crisis of the Government’s own making. Not only are people spending more than a third of their income on rent, but the number of rough sleepers in England has, shockingly—shamefully —increased by more than 250% since the Conservative party was elected in 2010. It was in that context that the Secretary of State overruled his advisers to reduce the amount of affordable housing required in the Westferry development.
Let us take this slowly, because this point cannot be laboured enough. With an increase in street homelessness of more than 250% since 2010—