Housing Need (London)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:38 am on 29th June 2010.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat, Carshalton and Wallington 11:38 am, 29th June 2010

I am afraid that I shall again have to defer to my hon. Friend the Minister, who I am sure will pick up that point when he responds to the debate. I want to put on record some of the proposals that the coalition Government have listed in their programme-measures, or sentiments, that can address the situation. When the Minister responds, I hope that he can put some flesh on the bones of such sentiments, as well as give an indication of where the Government are going with housing, so that we have greater clarity about how housing provision and needs will be addressed.

We will promote a radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups. We will abolish local spatial strategies and return decision making on housing and planning to local councils. We will radically reform the planning system, to give neighbourhoods far greater ability to determine the shape of places in which their inhabitants live. We are exploring a range of measures to bring empty homes back into use, as my hon. Friend Simon Hughes made clear in an intervention earlier. We are also looking at new trusts and perhaps ways of providing cheaper homes that people can buy-cheaper because community trusts hold the land separately.