Affordable homes drive

21 September 2004
The National Housing Federation has demanded that affordable housing should be at the heart of all political parties agendas.

It has called on all parties to demonstrate how they will provide housing in sustainable communities - something the National Housing Federation believes is a national priority.

Housing associations are calling on the political parties to commit to a range of policies, including the need to produce genuinely mixed developments, which cater for a range of incomes, tenures and household types.

Additionally, parties need to provide tax breaks to encourage more housing associations to support the development of social enterprises.

The chief executive, Jim Coulter, said: "The political parties need to make their positions clear. We hear the right noises but we want to see real action to create affordable housing in the sustainable neighbourhoods of the future."

He added: "In the run up to the next general election, the political parties must consider the delivery of sustainable communities as a priority for the future. A roof alone is not enough. Thriving local communities, social justice, low unemployment, good educational chances - all depend on a decent home in a sustainable neighbourhood."

Among other things the federation is calling for parties to ensure that building regulations require all new homes to be built to Lifetime Home Standard.

Mr Coulter added: "Too often, housing policies have concentrated the most vulnerable and socially excluded in a single area. The effect is to make it harder for people to seize education and employment opportunities.

He concluded by saying: "It is the job of government to knock down obstacles to sustainable communities."
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