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New lobby group wants 100,000 affordable homes

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by Gill Montia
New lobby group wants 100,000 affordable homes

A newly formed body is urging the Government to build more than 100,000 affordable homes over the next two years.

The 2020 Group, which is chaired by former Government housing adviser, Kate Barker, is arguing that the economy could be kick-started by a building programme on this scale, which would cost in the region of £6.3 billion.

Housing associations, unions and local authorities have banded together to form the new group, which believes its proposals could boost the UK’s housing stock and at the same time save 450,000 jobs in the construction industry by 2010, thus preserving the sector’s skills base.

According to Ms Barker: “Support for housing today offers excellent value in terms of sustaining economic activity, and reduces the risk of a very severe loss of capacity in the housing and related industries.”

She adds that the present fall in house building could be sowing the seeds of the next housing boom.

Group member, David Orr, who is chief executive of the National Housing Federation, concludes that: “Without radical action many people in construction will lose their jobs, and up to five million people could find themselves on housing waiting lists by the end of 2010.”

The 2020 Group’s founder members are: the National Housing Federation, Shelter, the Local Government Association and the Trades Union Congress.

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News posted: February 23, 2009

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