Local Housing Allowance and Homelessness — [Mr Adrian Bailey in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:04 am on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 10:04 am, 24th July 2019

I agree. My hon. Friend’s example shows, in a nutshell, what it is like out there. It is not only that housing is not available, but that the limited amount available is of such poor quality that families in a desperate state are being forced into even greater poverty. They then almost certainly have to top up.

The figures in the Gloucester-Stroud area show a shortfall of £27.24 for a single room, which rises to £112.46 for a four-bed property—if there even are any, which I suspect there are not. I make a heartfelt plea to the Minister that this cannot go on. Such is the difficulty we face with the dislocation in the housing market. We have to accept that private renting is there for people who do not stand a chance of getting a council property or any other form of social housing, because they are so far down the band system as a result of whatever may have happened in their past, their inability to pay the rent or their not being local to the area. They end up renting in the private sector; they get penalised because they cannot find anything; if they do find something it is poor—and then they have to top up.

Please, Minister, can we look at this as a crisis and start doing something about it?