Housing Need (London)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:01 am on 29th June 2010.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats 11:01 am, 29th June 2010

The hon. Gentleman and I have held similar views on those matters for many years, and I have not changed mine. Does he agree that we ought to encourage local authorities to use their powers to acquire all the residential properties in their boroughs that are sitting empty? There are now powers for local authorities to take over the management of such properties, albeit not their ownership, so that they can let them at affordable rents, rather than pushing people into the private sector which, as he rightly said, makes things impossible for those who want to get back to work because of the benefit trap.